Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Defense of Cloth Diapers

Why, yes. I am serious about cloth diapering. How kind of you to ask with that look of mingled disgust and surprise!

Here's the thing: I'm not a tree hugging hippie. Far from it. The closest I come to it is the organic milk I'm thisclose to insane about Punkin having. And maybe breastfeeding. We do recycle, but I've definitely thrown a soda can in the trash can when the recycling is full and I'm too lazy to yell at Austin to take it out. I love this planet because, you know, it sustains us as humans, but I'm not wearing Birkenstocks and holding a picket sign about global warming or something. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Did I mention I'm lazy?

But cloth diapering...it just makes sense. I've lamented in the this blog since I first started it about wanting to stay at home. Staying at home means losing a big chunk of income (like, most of it). So, while I kind of toyed around with the idea of cloth diapering when I was pregnant with Punkin, I'm downright determined this time. Let's break it down, shall we?

For cloth diapers, I can get all the prefolds and covers I would need and then some for less than $400. This includes the extra cost of washing. Even if I went the expensive route and got the really nice cloth diapers, I could get all I need and more for less than $1,300 including the extra cost of washing (keep in mind these prices include different sizes and stages of diapers). Now, while that number doesn't look like a small number, that's the cost. Period. Disposables? Almost $2,600. Continuously. Until the kid is fully potty trained.

Especially if I go the prefold route, which I probably will at least in the newborn stage since they go through so many diapers, I think this is totally worth it.

Gross factor? I will admit I had that fear as well. Here's the thing. With poop, you just dump it in the toilet and flush it. I will definitely be getting a sprayer that attaches to the toilet to aid in this. Here's something a lot of people probably don't know; when you change a poopy diaper in disposables, you're supposed to dump the poo in the toilet and flush it. You're also supposed to separate the plastic outside from the inside before you dispose of it. Surprised? I was too.

So what's with washing poop in the washing machine?! Like I said, dump and spray the poop, and your golden. Everything washes out and it does not contaminate your other clothes. The diapers go into a pail until you're ready to wash, and yeah maybe they get stinky. Have any of you had a diaper pail with disposables? Because I have one right now, and it's gross. Like, I felt like a neglectful mother this week because Punkin's room was stinky from the diaper pail. So I took it outside and there it sits. Diapers are gross no matter what, people. Cloth diapers are no more so than disposables. Actually, they're probably less gross because you don't have a diaper full of poo sitting in a diaper pail.

I said I'm not a hippie, and I'm not, but the environmental impact disposables have are really hard to ignore. It takes an estimated 500 years for disposables to decompose. Also, enough disposables are thrown out every year to reach the moon and back. Imagine that many diapers added EVERY YEAR to landfills and just sitting there. Full of disease causing poo. Because let's face it, no one know you're supposed to dump the poo first.

 Also, there is possibly the most convincing factor to consider. Look how adorable they are!

Here's where I found the cost breakdown

Friday, January 6, 2012


My last post was terribly depressing and whiny. Sigh.

Since I've written that post, I've found the perfect bedding, felt baby girl kick from the outside, researched cloth diapers with a vengeance, and I've given Punkin about a thousand smooches and laughed at him singing the Jumpy Jump song from "Yo Gabba, Gabba!" (or "A Beeba, Beeba!", if you're my toddler). I've had a very encouraging conversation with my husband about money after the baby is born, wherein I could not hear the eye roll in his voice when he talked about me staying home (progress!). I finished Mindy Kaling's super funny book and I've watched more Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was able to bask in the glory that is Spike, the vampire.

So, things are looking up.

I am getting more excited about this impending little one. I am still a little scared of the unknowns and what what-ifs, but I'm trying really hard to push those aside and just get things figured out and taken care of. Punkin is growing so much every day and doing something new and impossibly funny all the time. I'm going to miss having just him to love on, but I'm going to love loving them both and seeing him with his baby sister.

I keep telling myself the very most important thing is that this baby is healthy and happy. Everything will be taken care of one way or another, but as long as she gets here healthy, that's what matters the most. Everything else is just noise.

Daddy wishes he could grow this luxurious 'stache.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Halfway There

Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant. I'm already halfway there.

I'm starting to mini-panic about this. I feel like there's so much to figure out and I haven't even really started making a plan. The room that is to belong to baby girl is filled with the random bits of our lives that we don't have any other place for. I haven't started thinking about decorating a nursery for a little girl.

I feel slightly guilty about this. I don't know if it's because this is my second or because there's so much more pressure with this one, but I'm just not excited about the little things like I was with Punkin. Little girl clothes are foreign to me and while yes, the selection is infinitely more than it is for boys, it feels weird buying them. Everything is just so...frilly. I'm used to puppies and monkeys and blues and browns. Not bows and ruffles and pink and purple. I did buy her a cute little giraffe outfit yesterday.

My Mom asked me yesterday if I had started looking at bedding. Um, say what? Bedding? Oh yeah. I guess I should get on that, huh? It hadn't even crossed my mind. I guess because when we thought she would be a he, I got really complacent thinking we already have everything we need.

So I guess I should get moving. We were going to wait a while to put Punkin in a toddler bed because I really just don't think he's ready, but I found a spring from his mattress platform the other day that had broken off. From him jumping on the bed so much. Awesome. So now I'm thinking I better get him out of that crib before it's totally unusable for another baby.

Another part of all of this that's stressing me out is figuring out our work situations. Flat out: I don't want to work. After this baby gets here, I don't want to have to leave my child at 5 weeks old and go back to working full time. I just don't. I know people do it every day, but the thought of it just makes me want to hide in a corner and cry. It was hard with Punkin, and I imagine it'll be harder with two. The only problem with this is the fact that we need, you know, like food and stuff. Basic survival needs and all that. I don't know that we can do that. They offered to let me work part time here, and while that's very generous and all, I don't really believe them. I think they may be okay with that after I get back in July, but not once tax season hits and we're slammed and I'm the only one who does certain things here. I don't think they'll be okay with it then, and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to work full time 4 months out of the year and work part time the rest.

My main concerns are nursing and child care. I don't want to pump at work again. Ever. It was awful and it was hard and I'm damn proud of myself for doing it and nursing my baby until he weaned himself at a year. He never had one drop of formula. Ever. Yes, I'm bragging. I set out to accomplish that goal and I'm proud of myself for doing it. But it sucked. Especially at the end when I was struggling to pump enough for him each day. I long for a life when I can just nurse my baby when she's hungry and not worry about pumping unless I want to leave her with someone for an extended period of time. That would be magical.

Also, child care. My mom will no longer be keeping both kids. Austin has started working with my brother a few days a week, which is great because he can make money and have Punkin with him at the same time. But we have no idea at this point if those few days a week will turn into full time and if it does, how will he handle my brother plus a toddler and an infant? Even if I'm working part time, that's a little sticky.

There's just so much to think about, I think it's hindering me from being really pumped about this. Don't get me wrong, I'm so very happy for this baby and I'm beyond grateful that she's healthy so far. It just feels different this time.

Jax and his cousin Ella making good use of Nonnie's canned goods. Also, note the big brother shirt.