Babe in the Northwoods

Last weekend was the long-awaited first time camping with our little guy.  We booked our campsite in July after realizing that nearly every weekend this summer was and is scheduled to be consumed with events and engagements.  We knew  if we didn’t pencil in a trip just for us the season would be here and gone and it would be another year before camping would become an option again.

Since we booked our trip during a brutal heatwave in July we looked for some northern location that would hopefully provide some late summer relief.  Jay Cooke State Park outside of Duluth, MN was our destination.  Set in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Jay Cooke has over 50 miles of hiking trails within its borders.  The St. Louis River runs through the park and provides some amazing views as it sweeps over lots of exposed rock on its way through the dense forest.  It is beautiful and provided us with a wilderness fix (something we deeply need), but was accessible and friendly enough to camp with a family.

View from the swinging bridge in Jay Cooke State Park

The three of us spent several nights in the woods and made some day trips to Duluth and beyond to enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Superior.  Camping with a toddler is…well, definitely different than the days of old when we were unencumbered and could hang out around the fire relaxing (now those two words don’t look like they belong near each other), hiking for hours on gnarly singletrack trails, camping minimally in a tiny tent with just a sleeping bag and camp pad.  But it is certainly doable and  having our 15 month old fill up his bucket full of  pine cones and rocks, watching his face fill with curiosity and wonder listening to a ground squirrel or chipmunk, and seeing him toddle down the trail, well those are the images we had in mind when we decided have children and I wouldn’t trade this trip for anything.

We arrived Friday afternoon and set up our camp.  Harper immediately started exploring his new surroundings, picking up handfuls of dirt, rocks, and sticks.

He even got in on setting up the tent…

We didn’t bring an air mattress because we felt like Harper wouldn’t sleep next to us well on one, and instead laid our sleeping pads on the ground and then covered them with a feather comforter and a thick flannel-lined sleeping bag.  We topped this with another feather comforter for sleeping under.  We brought our biggest tent, which I won in 10th grade at an after prom party.  It hasn’t been used much over the years since we prefer to pack small and light, but I have a feeling that it’ll be making more appearances now that we have a child.  Having that extra space to stash gear (and toys) as well as let little ones play was a must, especially when we needed to wait out a quick rain shower one afternoon.

With our camp secured we decided to head into Duluth (only about 12 miles away) for an evening stroll along the boardwalk that follows the shore of Lake Superior.  Duluth is one of our favorite towns and the weather was perfect.  We spent a leisurely two hours meandering along the shore and through the downtown before heading back to camp.

Watching the ships

Playing in the sand and checking out the immense lake

Braving the water with Daddy (Harper still hasn't warmed up to lakes, pools, or sprinklers...maybe next summer...)

Back at camp the sun began to set and we readied our fire and began cooking our supper of delicious pork chops (from Maveric Heritage Ranch Co. in Dell Rapids, SD).  As the delicious scent wafted through the campground we plated up potato salad, veggies, and chips.  Just as we were getting ready to pull our chops off the fire I spotted in the dark a little black animal near one of our chairs and then saw its big white stripe down its back: A SKUNK!

I swept Harper up instantly and flew into the car.  We were completely astounded that a skunk would approach us and Wyatt went out to see if he was gone.  He found him out there circling our pork chops and not seeming afraid of us at all.  He even walked toward Wyatt nonchalantly and made his way around our camp like he owned the place.  Turns out, he did!  After calling the park staff over and ascertaining that the skunk had finally moved on a friendly ranger asked us if this was the site with the drain pipe running under the tent pad.  Well yes, it was.  Apparently we are not the first campers to have this skunk visit  He told us that skunks are attracted to food and that since there were no other campsites available we should just try to keep a clean camp and if the skunk came by again to shine our lights on him and made clicking sounds to get him to go away.  Seriously?  He went on to talk about the strange behaviors of wild animals who become habitualized to humans over time…skunks who are fed by hand by campers, garbage can raiding bears, and a story about a tenacious fox up at Temperance River State Park who had somewhat of a shoe fetish and stole campers’ shoes.  One family had four pairs of shoes outside their camper when they went to bed and only one lone shoe left when they woke up (later on Wyatt and I laid in our tent imagining this single-minded fox carrying off shoes, one at a time, getting to his den with one and obsessively turning right around for the next.  We imagined him racing against the sunrise for that last shoe and not quite making it back, watching despairingly as the family woke up and snatched their one remaining shoe back into their camper…).  Eventually someone found the fox’s den and there were around 60 shoes stashed there.

But back to our current skunk problem.  The ranger left, seeming not too concerned about this unwelcome visitor at our site and we spent the rest of night doing “perimeter checks” with our headlamps and worrying.  The skunk did come back again that night and he wasn’t afraid at all of us, showed no aggression and we didn’t receive a spraying.

Drain pipe under our camp pad, a.k.a. the home of "Jimbo," our campsite skunk

After a somewhat sleepness night next to a fitful baby we awoke bright and early to the cool woods and the promise of a new day.  We made our fire and cooked a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon over the flames.

The camp kitchen box doubles as Harper's breakfast table and chair

After washing down the meal with hot coffee we dressed and wandered over to the visitor center to inquire about “child-friendly” hiking options.  We wanted something that would allow us to easily hike with a baby on our back, or something we could take the jogging stroller on.  The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful and we left with a map of highlighted routes and scenic points.

We decided to take the stroller and make a long hike along the Forbay Trail en route to the Munger Trail, a 63-mile paved bike trail running from Hinckley, MN to Duluth.  We packed lunch, water, and a diaper bag full of supplies and headed out.

We first stopped at the Swinging Bridge (a brief hike from the visitor center) and took in the gorgeous view of the river, then took the Forbay Trail through the park  and joined with the Munger Trail.

It was a beautiful walk and we passed through both the towns of Thomson and Carlton along the way.  At one point we crossed a bridge with beautiful views of the river.

Harper did wonderful.  Around nap time he drifted off easily in the stroller and took a hearty snooze.  We passed the time checking out the abundance of wildflowers along the trail and spying trees that were showing the first signs of the changing season.

We ate our lunch at a picnic shelter in Carlton and spotting rain clouds on the horizon began speed walking back to the park.  We received a few sprinkles but after walk/sprinting for a little over an hour we made it back dry. We collapsed in the tent after three hours of hiking and listened to a brief shower pass over.  Since he had spent the duration of the trip lounging in the stroller Harper took this rest time to expel his pent-up energy by jumping on our heads and crawling over our limp, exhausted bodies.

Energy to burn

Once we recuperated we tried to spend some time relaxing at camp, but quickly realized that instead all we were doing was chasing Harper as he climbed onto the picnic table, went out onto the road, tried to work the water spigot, and just generally attempt to injure himself in this new and freeing world of “outside.”

Trying to figure out how Mom and Dad get water out of this thing

Taking himself on a walkabout

After a while however, this became exhausting and we decided we needed to find something else to do.  We loaded into the car and headed out for a drive along the North Shore.  We headed into Duluth first and cruised the historic district checking out the huge homes built in Duluth’s port town heyday.  We then drove out of town and headed up Hwy 61 to Two Harbors.  We stopped at Betty’s Pies, a place we had visited after a rainy backpacking trip a few years ago in Crosby Manitou State Park and had fond memories of.  We ordered broasted chicken and all the fixings and of course a slice of Apple Strawberry Crunch a la mode for dessert.

The boys chowing down

Stuffed, we unbuckled at least one pants button and drove over to the lighthouse off of downtown Two Harbors and took an evening stroll.  The light was beautiful and it was so amazingly peaceful on the lengthy walkway taking us to the lighthouse.  The water lapped below us and as far as the eye can sea stretched Lake Superior.

Walkway out to the lighthouse in Two Harbors, MN

Feeling the breeze off of Lake Superior

We spent a while taking pictures in the fading sun and strolling around the  shore and the rocky outcropping nearby.


Feeling content we headed back to our camp where we ate a cold supper (fearing a return of the skunk, who by now we had nicknamed Jimbo, and who returned again anyway but without incident) and hit the hay early.

The next morning Harper rose early again and we cooked up a second helping of bacon, eggs, and coffee before striking camp around 9am.  On our way out we stopped by Oldenburg Point for one last short stroll in the woods and a sweeping view of the forest and river below.

View from Oldenburg Point--woods as far as the eye can see

We then hit the road taking Hwy 23 down to the junction of I-35 to avoid the heavy road construction on the interstate.  Harper fell asleep and we made good time back through the cities heading east.  We decided to make one more fun stop on the way home to break up the drive and give Harper something to do.  We stopped at Emma Krumbee’s Apple Orchard outside of Belle Plaine, MN and went apple picking.

After steeling ourselves with coffee and an apple fritter we headed out to the orchard where we were able to fill up our bag with over 10 lbs. of Stella apples (we paid $11 to do so).  We helped Harper pick some apples off the tree, but soon he was mainly interested in getting an apple in his mouth. Once he did he was content to hang out in the grass.

Harper continued to munch on his apple for a good part of the drive home and we arrived safe and sound around 6pm on Sunday to greet our dogs and chickens, who had been cared for by Wyatt’s sister during our trip.

It was a wonderful experience being able to share our love of the outdoors with our young son, and a reminder that babies do grow up (in the blink of an eye, actually!) and activities you love aren’t gone forever with the arrival of children.  With patience, a little flexibility, and some creativity camping can be a had with young’uns.  You can bring your babe to the woods!

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Cucumber Mania!

It’s that time of year!  We didn’t grow any cukes last year because we were still working on the previous year’s pickle stash, but this year we have a sizable patch of very prolific cucumbers.  What to do, what to do with all these cukes?  Well, for starters, we’ve been eating cucumbers EVERYDAY!

Cucumber salad with tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and parmesan

Fresh cukes dressed in yogurt and vinegar sauce with onions and dill

Cucumbers as a side (here with pasta and fresh tomatoes, basil, and feta)

Despite our near constant munching, we are still dealing with a surplus! 

So, yesterday we decided it was time to whip up a quick batch of refrigerator pickles.  I have always loved the delicious sweet and sour taste of these little beauties. 

Refrigerator pickles are super easy and quick to make.  You just harvest a bunch of cukes from your bursting cucumber patch:

And then send them through the slicing blade on the food processor:

And throw some onions through the slicer as well:

Egyptian walking onions

Put this all in a large jar.  Throw a few cloves of garlic in for good measure.  Then whip up a quick brine and pour over the top of the cukes and onions.

The brine will contain vinegar, water, and sugar and salt along with the seasonings of your liking.  I used mustard seeds, tumeric, and black peppercorns. 

Delicious!

Because these aren’t canned they must stay in the fridge, but they’ll keep in there for an indefinite amount of time. 

Despite this mass pickle batch, we still had a sack of cucumbers to give away to some friends who joined us for supper last night.

Now, what to do with this week’s cukes? 

Even with  all of this cuke mania Wyatt is insisting we made a  mistake in not growing zucchini this year! 

What are you doing with your cukes this summer?  Share your favorite recipe or talk about the most prolific veggie in your garden!

Too busy living to blog

This summer has been a whirlwind!  The issue with having a blog on urban homesteading is that the times when you are MOST active growing, building, and doing are the times you are least likely to blog.  There’s just too much living going on to take the time to blog!

Well what have we been up to since May?  So very much.

Our biggest project is of course the garden.  And it’s been keeping us hopping!

after a wet and cold spring, finally planting...

planting in the sunshine

and planting in the chill (crazy spring!)

creating raised beds of strawberries and herbs

and planting a second garden plot (at the community gardens at Falls Park)

and raising seedlings

 

 

and seeing things grow...

and grow...and grow!

 

But there’s so much to do in the summer!  So beyond the home what have been doing?  Let’s see…

Eating ice cream

Running the Mickelson Trail Half Marathon

On our 7th Year Wedding Anniversary!

Vacationing in the Black Hills

Laying in the sunshine

Shopping at the Farmers Market

Celebrating Harpers 1st Birthday

Hiking

Spending time with family

Grilling at Tanglewood

Did I mention grilling at Tanglewood?

And best of all, sharing this all with a very special little boy!

 Thank goodness for long summer days!

Hope everyone’s summer is going well!  Now tell me what you’ve been up to!


Today: from garden to plate

Lacinato kale, basil, banana peppers, sugar snap peas

Dragon tongue beans, italian flat leaf parsely

Early wonder tall top beets

And a Chiogga beet…the first I’ve had.

And today on our plates…

Lunch

Garden pizza with olive oil, kale, basil, blue cheddar, parmesan, and a hint of garlic salt.  Fresh snap peas.  Cherries.

Supper

Baked salmon with parsley and lemon pepper, cheesy stuffed banana pepper, steamed dragon tongue beans, buttered beets, and homemade cornbread topped with honey.

Leftover for tomorrow

Beet greens to sautee with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.

Oh…life is so good.

I promise to post some updates soon.  We have been burning the candle on both ends around here!  A proper garden update is on its way.

Sioux Falls Tour de Coop

 

Calling all Sioux Falls backyard chicken enthusiasts! Sioux Falls Tour de Coop is a project to promote urban poultry and connect with new friends and allies in the movement to create a more vibrant local food scene in Sioux Falls.

The goal is to create the first ever Tour de Coop next summer, the idea being to hold an open house of sorts for anyone who would like to check out our chicken dwellings/gardens/urban farms.

Check out the Sioux Falls Tour de Coop blog at: http://sftourdecoop.blogspot.com/

And be sure to “like” them on facebook too!

The Great Cloth Diaper Review

Inspired by a couple of friends’ requests for information about cloth diapering, I am finally sitting down to write this review, something I’ve been planning to do for a long, long while but haven’t dedicated the time to.  Here is my Great Cloth Diaper Review, for all you families out there thinking about going with cloth.

This post is going to be split into three parts:

  • Part 1:  Cloth diaper pros and cons
  • Part 2:  Cloth diaper types, usage, and (a few) brand reviews
  • Part 3:  Cloth diaper care, tips, and resources

PART 1: Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons

First things first.

Cuteness! In a prefold with a Thirsties Duo Wrap cover

Do I recommend cloth diapering?  YES!!

Reason # 1:  $$$$$

Although using cloth is more of an investment up front (but not that much, in my opinion) and does take a little more work than disposables, it is far, far less expensive than throw away diapers.  We probably invested $250 in our cloth diapers (and I could have spent less) and last I checked a box of diapers at the grocery store is about $20.  So my investment (enough cloth to last through potty training) was the cost of about a dozen boxes of diapers.  And just let me say that when Harper was first born we were easily zipping through a box of disposable diapers in a week.  It’s estimated that the average parent spends about $1500-$2000 on diapers from birth to potty training.  Also, if you plan to have future children, you will have double savings by reusing your diapers for the next child.

Reason #2:  Environmental

I don’t think this needs much explanation as it’s pretty common knowledge that diapers are a MAJOR source of environmental waste.  It will take around 500 years for a disposable diaper to biodegrade.  If you’ve been using disposable diapers you know how quickly a mountain of diapers can accumulate (we know, we didn’t switch to cloth until Harper was 2 mos. old).  Now add in millions of other babies adding trillions of diapers to the garbage.  Not good.

Reason #3:  Baby!

I love wrapping my little one up in something soft, breathable and natural.  We do still use the occasional disposable diaper and I always feel like I’m putting a plastic sack on his body.  I feel like I’m giving Harper such a gift when I put a cloth diaper on.  I know it’s healthier and more comfortable than any plastic disposable.

Are there any drawbacks to using cloth?  A few.

#1:  Labor

It is more work to use cloth.  Obviously, diapers need to be laundered.  Though this isn’t a major issue, it does add another load of laundry that must be done every couple of days.

#2:  Clean-Up

When babies are exclusively breast-fed (as Harper was for the first 6 mos.), the soiled diapers don’t require much clean-up other than being put through a rinse cycle prior to washing them.  Once table food is introduced into the equation diaper clean-up takes on a little more effort.  Solids must be cleaned out of the diaper and put into the toilet before washing, and this can be a little daunting at first.  We just use a plastic spatula for this deed, though sprayer attachments can be purchased that would allow you rinse the diaper instead.

Now onto the diaper reviews…

PART 2:  Cloth Diaper types, usage, and (a few) brand reviews

Cloth diapers have come a long way from the days of pins and plastic pants.  There are so many brands of cloth diapers out there today, and many are made in the U.S. at small family-owned companies (for handmade options, check out Etsy).  There are several different types of diapers out there, including prefolds, pockets, and All-in-Ones (AIO’s).  I have used the prefolds and pockets, so that’s what I’ll be reviewing.

  • System 1:  Inserts, Prefolds and Covers

The least expensive option for cloth diapering is prefolds and covers.  Prefolds are a kind of baffled, multi-layer cotton diaper can that be folded in a variety of ways and covered with a waterproof cover.  When Harper was little (2-8 months) we primarily used prefolds or inserts with covers.  I purchased my premium cotton prefolds off Craigslist and paid about $20 for 25 prefold diapers.  They are super durable and the lady that I bought them from had also purchased them used.  They are major workhorses!  They were size large, so I would tri-fold them (fold them in thirds) the short way and lay them in his covers.

Thirsties Duo Wrap covers stuffed with prefolds (orange) and gFlappers (blue)

I also purchased some G-flappers inserts ($6 each from Elegant Mommy and made by The NappyShoppe) and would lay these in his cover as well.  The g-flapper is a two-layer insert with a fleece top layer and an absorbent hemp bottom layer.  The advantage of using this insert over the cotton prefold is that the moisture is wicked through the fleece and absorbed into the bottom hemp so that wetness is pulled away and baby’s skin stays nice and comfortable.

left: premium cotton prefolds, center: thirsties hemp prefolds, right: gFlappers inserts

I also purchased a few Thirsties Hemp prefolds, but I don’t like using these.  They are super soft and feel like jersey, but once they’re wet they basically take on the feel and shape of a sopping wet t-shirt.  They also take forever to dry since hemp is so absorbent.

I purchased about 8 Thirsties Duo Wrap Size 1 covers to use with the prefolds or inserts.  These run about $12-$14  a piece.  I like Thirsties duo wraps because they have an inner leg gusset that traps messes and leaks.  We never really had any issues with blow-outs or leaks (except for night time leaks–when he was very small we used covers and inserts at night, but in my opinion a cover and prefold/insert system isn’t absorbent enough for night time diapering).  My only issue with the Thirsties covers was that the Aplix (velcro) tabs seemed to wear out quickly.  A few of my covers had the back laundry tabs detach from the diaper.  I purchased one of the covers with snaps instead and though it’s not as quick as the velcro the diaper has held up much better.

gDiaper cover

gDiaper stuffed with a gFlapper insert

I also bought a couple gDiapers covers to use with a tri-folded prefold or the g-flappers. gDiapers covers have a detachable plastic liner and the cover itself is made of a stretchy soft fabric.  They are decently-priced and easy to put on and take off.  However, one of my covers kind of came apart early on.  I had to sew back on one of the velcro tabs, and later on the other came off.  For this reason I haven’t bought any more of these covers, though it might have just been a fluke with the one cover.

Besides being inexpensive, another economical reason to use the cover and prefold/insert option is that if the diaper is just wet, you can remove the insert, wipe the cover out and place a fresh diaper in the same cover.  This is great because it greatly reduces the number of covers you need to buy (especially when you have  very small baby who goes through a dozen diapers a day).

Thirsties make a two-size diaper cover, and when Harper was about 8-9 months he outgrew his covers and we sized up and I purchased about 4-5 new Size 2 covers all with snaps.  Since Harper is now much more active simply laying the prefold or insert into the diaper is still an option, but it’s hard to get the diaper in there straight (and stay straight) with the little one squirming all over, and it becomes more of a concern of leaks or blowouts. I bought a Snappi (a flexible 3-pronged device that “grabs” the fabric of the diaper with its teeth and allows you to fasten the diaper on without pins) so I could put his prefolds on like an actual diaper.  I use the angel fold to put on his prefolds.  It’s simple and quick (even Wyatt says so) but I must admit I kind of cringe having to put prefolds on him now.  My first reason is that he is really difficult to change–it’s like wrestling a flipping and spinning alligator and getting the prefold on, hooking the Snappi, and putting on a cover is just too many steps when alligator wrestling.  (Also, a few of my larger-sized Thirsties covers have snaps that don’t seem to stay snapped too easily)  My second reason for disliking prefolds and covers now is that he is much heavier wetter and I hate for him to be sitting in a soaking wet cotton diaper that is completely encircling his bottom.  For  this reason, I much prefer our pocket diapers for an older baby.

Harper with a prefold secured with a Snappi

Harper escaping from me before I can get a cover on

Bottom Line:  Covers (with snaps) and prefolds/inserts are the most inexpensive cloth diaper option and they were my cloth diaper of choice for a younger baby.

  • System 2:  Pocket Diapers

covers on the left, pocket diapers on the right

Pocket diapers are a system where you have a cover with an inner fleece or terry cloth liner that absorbent inserts are “stuffed” into (thus, the “pocket”).  Because pocket diapers are made out of a wicking material and have a liner, baby feels much more dry than using cotton prefolds.

Pocket diapers are more expensive (usually $16-$22+ each) and the whole diaper (cover and everything) must be changed each and every time it is wet.  This means you need to buy enough of these diapers to last you a day or two (for this reason I am finding it much more affordable to use these as the main diaper for an older baby who only goes through 6 or so diapers a day).  Pocket diapers are a very user-friendly diaper because they are put on very similarly to a disposable diaper, and many families with day care (myself included) have been happy to find out that the day care provider will use the cloth diapers.

Several of the most popular pocket diapers include FuzziBunz and bumGenuis, which are the two kinds I own.  A big advantage of pocket diapers is that they can be purchased in One Size, meaning they can adjusted to fit your baby from birth to potty training.  This means that you could just buy a stash of these when you baby is born and not worry about buying dipes again.  Of course, this is an investment initially, but as I illustrated above it will save you tons of money in the long-term.

FuzziBunz:

FuzziBunz One Size

FuzziBunz One Size are soft and snugly diapers that cost around $20 a piece.  They have an elastic band with button holes in the waist and legs that can be adjusted as baby grows.

Adjustable elastic for sizing the diaper

We own three of these and originally purchased them as night time diapers when Harper was small.  They worked well for this purpose, but now that he is grown and is wetting heavier we’re finding that they leak at night.  This might be because I don’t have the elastic adjusted perfectly for his size, or maybe we need to triple stuff them.  In any case, we like these diapers, but the biggest drawback I’ve found in them is the elastic sizing, which in my experience has required a bit of an art to figure out.  However, I know many people who use FuzziBunz as their main diaper and absolutely love them.

bunGenuis:

bumGenius 4.0: A quick shot before Harper yanked the diaper out of the picture

bumGenius 4.o is actually our most favorite diaper of all.  They are a little less expensive (around $18) and I found a deal from CottonBabies to buy 5 and get one free (making them $14.50 a piece).  I bought all six of my BumGenius diapers with snaps, since I had heard that the main complaint for people with bumGenius diapers is that the Aplix tabs wore out.  I’ve been using these for about six months and they have worked fabulously.  They are super durable and the snaps are strong and easy to use.  Changing  the diaper size is super simple– all that is required is adjusting the three sizing snaps on the front of the diaper.  We very rarely experience leaks (just sometimes if a night time diaper is overloaded) and I don’t think we’ve ever had a blow-out in them.

In a "Bum Genie" as Wyatt calls them

Bottom Line:  Pocket diapers can be more expensive but are very user-friendly and a better night-time diaper.  I recommend buying diapers with snaps rather than Aplix.  Pocket diapers are my diaper of choice for an older baby.

PART 3: Cloth diaper care, tips, and resources

Washing Tips:

Cloth diapers should be washed with a detergent free of petroleum products, oils, etc.  I use a homemade laundry soap for all of my washing and the recipe can be found here.  Covers and inserts can be washed together.  I do one pre-rinse, then a hot wash.  Sometimes I do a rinse again at the end if the dipes seemed like they needed it.  I also try to add a little half-scoop of an oxygen cleaner to the load for extra cleansing.

Some covers can be dried in a machine, but others need to line dry.  Be sure to read the instructions when you buy your diapers.  We dry all of our covers on hangers rather than in the machine to reduce wear and tear on them.  In the summer I like to dry all my diapers outside since the sun works miracles as a bleaching agent and erases any stains you might have.

If my diapers ever develop a smell, I put JUST the inserts or prefolds in the wash and add a little bleach to the cycle.  DO NOT wash your covers with bleach unless it says you can on the washing instructions.  Bleach can ruin the waterproofing on your covers.  However, adding a little bleach to the inserts has taken care of any smells or staining that might develop.

Storage:


We use a regular diaper pail to store our diapers in until they are washed.  A 1/4 cup or so of baking soda is added to the pail to keep smells at bay.

I keep all of our diapers organized on a little shelf near where we change Harper.  As you can see, as the little one grows this area is now a point of interest for him and as fast as I can fold and put the diapers away he pulls them out again laughing wildly at the fun.  Oh well.

Resources:

Elegant Mommy is a great local resource for cloth diapering.  Shelly, the owner, carries a variety of brands and is happy to talk you through your options as well as provide information on care.  Even if you don’t live near Sioux Falls you can order through their website.

Mothering.com is a fabulous resource on cloth diapers.  There are many articles relating to the subject on the website, including this video resource and this article.  Mothering is an amazing website in general and has a lot of information on subjects like natural living, healthy eating, parenting, breastfeeding, etc.

Well, I hope this has been helpful!  It’s been a labor of love to get this blog written, but I’m glad to spread the good word on cloth diapering!  Please share your own experiences in the comments section, and feel free to ask questions.  I love to hear about how other people are doing things.  If you have a favorite diaper or method, please share!

Happy cloth diapering!

Mother’s Day

Here we are, the night I became a Mother.  Harper is about 25 minutes old.  Not quite strangers,  but meeting each other face to face for the first time.  Looking at him and feeling like I have known him forever.  So many overwhelming emotions running through, yet peace and connectedness at the center.

Motherhood has been a wild adventure.  Thank you, Harper Samuel, for the gift of being a Mother!