Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flats Challenge - The Last Day.

It is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For the past 6 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   

To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6.

Today is the last day of the Flats Challenge -  Really? the last day?  

I've had a busy week -  like every other busy week (every week?) it has gone by lightening fast! 

So, here are my thoughts about all this ..  random thoughts. 
  • I love that I've blogged every day! (and about something other than cooking!!) 
  • I don't feel worn out - I don't feel like I'll be relieved that it's over, but no, i will not continue hand washing.  
  • This has inspired me to come up with a way to change up my diaper washing/drying routine so it is not so time and energy consuming. 
  •  I am seriously considering packing most of my pocket diapers away for a rainy day. (like, winter when line drying isn't so fun, or a babysitter)  I think it would extend their life if i gave them a break. I think if i were using only flats and my cloth napkins/wipes I could cut down on the wash cycle.  Maybe use a wetpail with borax like i have been this week and do the pre-wash that way and not need to use the 3+ hour wash cycle.  I'm going to experiment 
  •  I'm going to try to figure out an efficient way to line dry my cloth napkins (seriously, we use about 30-50+ every 2 days, they take FOREVER to hang up on a clothes line.)
  •   I really enjoy hanging up laundry on the clothes line - but it is just too time consuming. 
So, I'm not going to keep handwashing flats, that is not a big surprise - but i do think that every time i do this, it gets more do-able - with the weather this week it was EASY - today, i didn't even put any effort into wringing out my diapers and in the wind and warm air they were dry in 2 hours, i could have been doing that all week. If I did this full time, i would be motivated to work more on potty training, but i don't think i'd go as far as really trying EC - Hand washing diapers just isn't THAT hard.  Now if i had to hand wash dishes, that would be another story..  


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flats Challenge Day 6 - Flats on the go ..

 It is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For the past 6 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.

So, between last summer and this weekend I have used and hand washed flats both in a hotel, and while staying with family on short weekend trips.. and I have used disposables on longer trips in the past year - When traveling for a 1-2 week vacation, the cost of disposables is minimal - the cloth diaper nerd in me would like to do it, but I just can't justify the extra work when i've got so many other things going on.  If i needed to use flats for financial reasons, chances are good i wouldn't be spending a week at disney world.  Anyway, for shorter weekend trips, i like to use cloth - i just don't like to come home with a bag full of dirty diapers.  I also don't like to take up a huge amount of space with enough pockets to last the weekend.  Flats and handwashng come about as close to perfect as you can get for this type of trip.  

This time, we spend just one night away, about a day and a half.  We were staying with my Mother in Law at her home in the country.  That meant 2 things for cloth diaper washing - well water, and a clothes line!  I washed diapers half way through (in the morning) because I wanted to be sure they had time to dry before we left.  I did a hot wash inside and then took the diapers outside for rinsing - it was so windy and i knew i had all day for them to dry, so i did 3 rinses and hardly wrung them out at all (we also had somewhere to be).  My diapers did turn out a bit discolored (hoping that washes out?) from the well water.  You can almost see it in the picture of them drying on the line, the diaper on the right and the ones on the left took the brownish color of the water. The water wasn't THAT brown, so i'm not really sure why it stuck so bad to those diapers (target flour sack towels, you can also see in this picture how much BIGGER the Sam's flour sack towels are than the target towels ..).   Anyway, that was all there was to it, If we had stayed - i would have washed again in the morning and had more diapers.  I did not bring the 2 dirty diapers we had used at home with us - so tomorrow I'll have 2 extra diapers to wash in addition to the ones we used today.  We also played outside in the water today, so for that time, my toddler went diaperless for a few hours, and luckily my preschooler did not pee in his night time diaper - both of those things cut down on the number of diapers i had to wash while we were away.  

As for packing, for this trip - i brought my entire clothes basket of flats.  completely unnecessary? yes.  I had the space in the van and i didn't want to stress about packing them - I could have taken up the same amount of space as a package of disposables and had everything i needed. (about 10 flats, 3 covers, gloves and detergent) 

Briefly, I'll talk about last year's hotel trip and flats - That was trickier - I washed the flats from the day in the hotel bathtub after the kids were in bed and hung them from the shower curtain rod, towel bars etc. and left the fan running in the bathroom - They dried, it worked - but i could see how it might not work in some hotel bathrooms.  The flannel flats did not dry as quickly, so this year when i traveled i only brought flour sack towels.  I used only flip and thristies covers - which dry quickly.  It was more challenging than what i did this weekend, If i was committed to using only cloth diapers i would do it in a heartbeat! but i'm not. 

And what was possibly the highlight of this part of the Flats Challenge experience ?  My husband saying flats were 'not that bad' and he even put one on our wiggly toddler. I fold my flats in a rectangle similar to a prefold and usually use the bikini twist or angle wing fold with boingos to secure.  My comfort zone is completely different this year, than it was last year - so i don't feel so bad about not experimenting too much..  Last year i used pins, snappis, several different folds and pad folded flats in the diaper bag - this time, I'm pretty much doing the same thing all the time fold-wise -  i'm using my boingos religiously and haven't touched my pins or snappis..(seriously, I love them! i just don't think i could get the same fit with pins or a snappi) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flats Challenge day 5! Sized flats?

 It is day 5 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.  

This year's challenge is just not challenging me ?!   I'm not tired of it, i feel like i REALLY could just fit this right into my routine .. it IS in my routine..  i don't mind the difference in the diapers, i don't crave my pocket diapers, even when i'm out  - i 'm just fine.  what is going on?!  Like i said yesterday, I think after about a week i'd be ready to run these diapers through a regular wash cycle, but if that wasn't possible i could just spend a little extra time hand washing them once a week. 
So what made me stop using flats between last year and this year?  I think i figured it out! Last year i was using target flour sack towels - and now i know that they are just not that great for a toddler!  They worked GREAT for my 8-10 month old (and I assume they'd work well for younger babies) and then it just went down hill from there.  This year, i bought some Sam's club flour sack towels, they are bigger, softer, and more absorbent for the SAME price as the target towels! Now, if i had a newborn or even a 6 month old they'd be too big.  There is a down side to this, as you know, flats are considered one-size, and part of the appeal would be that you wouldn't have to buy two sets.  But with a toddler, 12 flats is enough, and you can buy 12 for $12 - that is the cost of one or two small packages of disposable diapers to make flats work for another year or longer! (the larger Sam's club flats work for my 4 year old at night!)  For reference, the Sam's towels - as measured hanging on the line, are 36x29 - they get a bit smaller when dried in the dryer.  The target towels are 29x29 hanging on the line. 
So, since i haven't been that challenged this year, i'm going to step it up! I'm taking the flats challenge 'on the road.'  We are going out of town overnight.  We'll see how this goes, but really - if i don't have time to wash, i doubt I'll run out.  Having 26 flats in my stash helps.  They aren't all my favorites, but they will work! Of course, hand washing all of them when i get home does not sound like fun so there is my motivation to wash tomorrow morning..  
So, if you're doing this with me, is the challenge challenging for you? and What size flats do you prefer?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flats Challenge Day 4 .. Washing..

 It is day 4 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, and Day 3

 Today we're talking about washing.  My washing method is simple, I learned a few tricks last year and they are serving me well.  
  1. First things first, recruit helpers.  having a helper (ideally ages 4 and up) can really save your arms! This may not last forever, but for a 1 week challenge my kids are ALL about it.  And they are ALWAYS up for hanging diapers on my kid-height clothes line.
  2.  use a wet pail, I add borax to my wet pail (helps with diaper stink issues) and keep it in the bathroom in the tub with the door closed so the kids don't mess with it.
  3.  wash in a bucket in the bathtub, with the helpers doing most of the agitation (using gloves or a plunger to protect their skin, though this year we aren't using a plunger because it broke on day 2 of last year's challenge) My wash cycle goes something like this - rinse, wash with detergent (i use charlie's soap) and super hot water, rinse warm, rinse cold, and wring out.
  4. Washing in the mid-late afternoon still allows for enough sunshine to dry diapers quickly but keeps you from having to work it into the morning routine.   
  5. 10 flats and a cover or two is about the max for a 5 gal bucket, any more than that and you run into problems from overloading your 'washer'.  
My flats tend to dry outside within a couple hours, that is without going crazy with the wringing, they are usually still a bit wet when i put them out.  If it were cloudy or extra humid I would probably have to do a bit more wringing, or plan for a longer dry time.  With 2 kids in flats (one only at night) and 26 flats, I am no where near running out at the end of the day but it is still important to try to wash every day.  That way, you don't run out (if it rains on your drying diapers, or something comes up and you miss a wash day).  Plus, if i waited until i had 20+ dirty flats it would take twice as long to wash them.  

My conclusion on hand washing, in general, is that it is 100% do-able, but it would be WAY more sustainable and easier with once a week machine washing thrown in there.  I think if i were doing this full time it would be worth it to drag all the diapers to grandma's house or a laundromat once a week.  For a camping trip, or a weekend out of town i would prefer flats to any other kind of cloth diapers, no one likes to bring home a bag of dirty diapers.   I did use flats and hand wash them for a 3 day trip last summer.  A days worth of flats easily dried overnight in a hotel bathroom. Once hand washing is worked into your routine, its no harder than putting away a basket of laundry, or emptying the dishwasher.  Sure, sometimes adding one more thing seems a bit overwhelming, but you get over it. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 3: using flats

Annie (20mo) showing off her adorable self
It is day 3 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!

As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them! You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 and Day 2

Today we are talking about how to use flats - there are a million ways to use flats, which is part of why they can work for everyone!  I have been using flats as inserts in (about half of) my pocket diapers since last year's challenge!  With flats, there is no need for stinky high maintenance microfiber! I had a lot more trouble finding my groove for last year's challenge - I'm not sure if i can give the credit to my awesome pair of Boingos (those green star things in the picture) or the new larger size flat (sam's club flour sac towel 30x36) or my now bigger toddler. (not that toddlers are all that cooperative about diaper changes)..but those are the things that are different about this year.  

 So my favorite fold so far this year is technically a prefold fold .. the bikini twist! I fold the larger sam's club flat into a rectangle and then twist and fasten with the boingos and i'm ready to go!   This fold is very trim, and doesn't require any complicated folding.  It is also worked well for the diaper bag and in public restrooms.  Last year i used the origami fold and that was a pain to do out of the house. Speaking of leaving the house.  If i know its going to be a while before i can check/change a diaper - I have been laying a pad folded flat inside of the rectangle folded flat and then fastening in an angle wing fold (like you would a pre-fold).  This holds a ton of pee, folks! Normally, i stuff my pocket diapers with 9 layers of hemp fleece when we go out, and this flat combination is more trim and holds just as much if not more than the hemp inserts.  I know i said this last year too, but i just might be done with pockets!  My main motivation this year is probably going to be that it seems that flats may really help with potty training!  Annie has told me nearly every time she has peed or pooped since we started using flats!! she isn't telling me before, when she needs to go - but she is uncomfortable and comes to ask to be changed as soon as she goes.  Now, when she starts trying to use the potty, flats won't be the easiest thing to take off and put on over and over so we'll be switching to cloth trainers at that point, but i think we'll get there faster this way.. 

For my 4 year old's night time diaper, I use a kind modified kite fold with an extra flat pad folded in the middle.  (pictured to the left)  He is 37lbs and wears a large old-style thirsties cover (back when they were pretty huge).  He recently outgrew the large pockets I had, so this was my solution, and all i had to buy was the pair of boingos.  This combination has yet to leak.  

And i guess here is as good a place as any to confess that I am not using a flat at night with my 20 month old.  She wakes up enough when she pees at night as it is - and i am not a fan of night wakings for diaper changes at this stage.  She also has yet to wear a cloth diaper at night without getting a rash (we've tried different liners, cloth safe rash creams etc)  She just needs a disposable and good old fashioned white butt cream to keep her rash free and sleeping peacefully at night.  I do plan to switch her to cloth at night when she stops peeing consistently in the night, as that seemed to work for my 4 yr old.  He got a bad rash in overnight cloth when he was a baby/toddler also, but he doesn't anymore.  And when the nightly disposable is a size 5 or 6 the extra cost makes it even more worth it to make cloth work.     

Mollie (6) hanging up the diapers after helping me wash.. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flats & Handwashing Challenge: Day 2

diapers drying last night..
Today is day 2 of the 2nd annual the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  The topic of the day is "what does it take?"

I covered my list of supplies yesterday, but today we can talk $$. These are just MY supplies..  it can be less or more expensive to use flat diapers, and I admittedly have WAY more than i need.  I have 26 flats and yesterday I used 10 (including 2 doubled diapers)

  •  5 flannel receiving blankets = FREE, baby gifts from my first baby. Not sure how i only have 5 now, I'm sure if i looked, i'd find more. 
  • 12 Target flour sack towels: These were purchased 4 for 3.99, they are squares about 30x30"
  • 9 Sam's Club flour sack towels:  12 for 12.something at Sam's club - (I gave 3 to a friend) These are rectangles about 36x29", which i thought would be a problem but it turns out to be AMAZING.  They fit my 4 yr old for one, and they can be folded into a large prefold-shaped rectangle that is super easy to get on my wiggly 20 month old.   

  • 3 original thirsties medium: purchased used 3-4 years ago for about $7 each
  • 2 original thirsties large: purchased used 5 years ago for $7 each
  • 2 flip covers: one purchased new for 13.95, one was free while spending $40 at the cotton babies store in St. Louis.
  • 1 econobum, one size, 8.95
  • 1 weehugger & 1 blueberry coverall (size 2): oops, i don't know how much these were, they were 2nds from the blueberry clearance store - i bought them because they are owl prints
  • 1 thirsties duowrap: christmas present..
  •  2 grovia shells - purchased for $17 (WITH 2 inserts not used during the challenge) at a silent auction. amazing. 
  • 1 homemade fleece cover *free* or a couple dollars worth of fabric i already had.. 
  • a few snappis, some diaper pins, and a pair of boingos  $3-5 each, pins being available the cheapest
So, rather than add up what I paid, and give you a worthless number because no one would go out and buy this exact stash, i'm going to give you what i'd tell someone to expect to spend on a similar stash. (which would work on a newborn - toddler) Without finding any 'good deals' on covers and just buying the cheapest one in my stash (econobum)

....   we have... around $75 - though if you cut corners on the covers it could be a LOT less.  That may sound like a lot (or not, if you've purchased a stash of sized pocket diapers)  but compare that to 2-3 years worth of disposable diapers and you have a GREAT deal. 

For washing I've got a 5 gal. bucket-  I'm using a charlie's soap (because i have a 5 gal bucket of it in my laundry room, that ironically cost more than my proposed diaper stash), plus some borax in the soak water and some oxiclean in the wash 'cycle'  .. and a pair of long rubber gloved.  I have a clothes line tied up on my deck for drying, with clothes pins.   This is all stuff I already had around the house. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

bagel fail = awesome

I set out to make some bagels..   well, lets just say one too many substitutions and it just wasn't happening..  the results are .. amazing.

Wet ingredients
4 room temperature eggs
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tbs honey
1 tsp cider vinegar

Beat wet ingredients then add:

1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
optional: 1/2 cup pulp from home made coconut milk

Beat some more ..  now, if you're lucky this will turn into a ball of dough - if you're me, it will turn into a watery cake batter .. pour it into a greased 8x8 pan, bake at 350 for 30-35 mins, it looks like corn bread.

serve warm, topped with strawberries or some non-dairy butter .. sooooo good, i hope i can make this mistake again.

the 2nd annual Flats Challenge is here!!!

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them! You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!  

Come on, I know you're excited, right??!? Since nearly all my posts are recipes, I feel the need to do this.. 

  • 5 flannel receiving blankets
  • 12 Target flour sack towels
  • 9 Sam's Club flour sack towels
  • 14 covers (3 original thirsties medium, 2 original thirsties large, 2 flips, 1 econobum, 1 weehugger, 1 thirsties duowrap, 2 grovia, 1 blueberry coverall, 1 homemade fleece cover) *
  • 1 toddler (20 months, 22lbs)
  • 1 preschooler (4 yrs, 35lbs)
  • a few snappis, some diaper pins, and a pair of boingos

*not all covers are pictured, or necessary - I just happen to own 14 covers and since there is no limit on covers this year, i plan to try all of them!

 So, why am i doing this ? 
  1. Well... because i had fun doing it last year. May not be the best reason, but it is pretty much my number one reason. Who doesn't like a good challenge? 
  2.  It is nice to go back to basics with diapers now and then, as you may have guessed from my covers stash, i have enough diapers to diaper a tiny baby army, or min 5 babies..
  3.  i think it may help kick start potty training Annie (my 20 mo old, she peed in the potty twice today!) 
  4. I'm already often using flats at night with Jamie (4 yr old, only pees in his night diaper a couple times a week)  2 kids in the challenge for the price of one!
  5. My 6 year old remembers the challenge from last year and is excited about hand washing diapers, i like to use this as a history lesson 'life before washing machines'   
  6. I'd like to get back in the habit of line drying outside (i use a railing indoors to line dry pockets)
  7.  oh yeah, and to raise awareness that cloth diapering can be done on a budget, and doesn't have to be expensive (hey, some of those covers were very inexpensive - actually - one was free, 5 were used, 2 were 2nds, 2 were a fraction of retail at a silent auction, and one was a gift - 5 of them are also on their 2nd child -I'll have to add all this up later..) 
And there we have it -  Let the challenge begin! Forecast looks sunny, this week looks busy (including a doctor's appointment, a LLL meeting, and a trip out of town)  

half of her life

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning - Your Stories
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.
I often joke that a lot of my parenting 'style' comes from being lazy.  When my first was 2 months old, someone asked me if i was into all that 'attachment parenting' stuff...  i kind of mumbled and changed the subject.  I had no. idea. what she was talking about! I went home and googled 'attachment parenting.'  I still remember reading this Dr Sears article and thinking .. 'yeah, i guess i do that.'   It was much later that i read more and more and though i still feel like that is me - i just don't put that much thought into it!  I do what feels right, which is often what is easy [see why i call it lazy?].  That became my 'thing.'  It seems like that shouldn't be a 'thing' .. that everyone should do it - but with the pressure from family, friends, society etc.  It seems many parents do what they feel like they should do even if it feels wrong. 

less than 1 week old ...
When it came to breastfeeding, things have always been a little different... I'll admit, i felt strongly about it pretty early on, i don't know if it was brought on by a need to defend my choice or what but as soon as we got the hang of it (about 6 or 8 weeks) I started googling 'natural age of weaning', and found La Leche League meetings, and worked on a plan.  All I knew was that i didn't want to stop.  I didn't want to stop at 6 months or a year.  I didn't ever want to make my baby give up nursing.  So, I gathered my ammo and built my support network and nursed my baby in this mental fortress I had created for myself. [i never really had to shoot at anyone.. by the way]  That lasted a couple short months until we started solids.  UGH.  Obviously solids have a lot to do with weaning, but lets just say, by 8 or 9 months, she was eating food.  How we got there, is not important, and with my 2nd and 3rd and any potential future babies i did not and will not stress about solid food. ("baby led weaning", baby!)  From there on out, things happened pretty gradually .. and i don't mean over a few weeks - we're talking months and years.  We did hit a bump in our nursing relationship when i got pregnant with my 2nd baby.  Of course, I was told to wean her by my OB at our first appointment.. and by this time i had perfected the 'nod and smile' technique to avoid more pressure to follow any advice i didn't agree with.  By about 12 weeks (my nurseling was about 19 months old) my milk was nearly dried up due to pregnancy hormones.  My baby, understandably, thought nursing all night along might bring it back.  Well, that was a no go - plus as is often the case, my nipples were very sore and nursing was just not a pleasant experience anymore.  I still, admittedly, freaked out at the thought of weaning my baby... [err. toddler].  I did, however, make the decision to try night weaning.  My 19 month old first born was very verbal, we talked about it and decided the 'milks' were very tired and needed to sleep while it was dark outside.  Now, when it came to waking up in the night and find sleeping milks... she was not very happy.  She was mad at me - she was not afraid or alone, but she was mad.  I know she understood, at least what was going on, if not why, because I told her the milks were asleep and she moved on to cuddling and crying with daddy, and the next night she was a little less mad, and suddenly she was only nursing at bedtime.  Oh. No. pregnant me loved [needed!] the sleep but suddenly my baby went from nursing nearly all night long, and at nap and bedtime - to just nap and bedtime! Wow.  what was gentle and gradual about that?!  Well. desperate times call for desperate measures.. and i have no regrets about night weaning.   My 3rd child is now 20 months old, and you couldn't pay me enough to night wean her now, or even to cut back on nursing at all, there is just no need for it! We are happy, i am NOT pregnant and we both love to sleep and cuddle and nurse all night long.  Anyway, back to my original baby.  She nursed to sleep, twice a day.. until at 22 months she dropped her nap [GASP].  I know she was so young [funny how this shocked people, but they would have been even more shocked to learn that she was still nursing to sleep at this age] but she went to bed earlier and never looked back.  Then we only nursed at bedtime..  at almost 26 months baby brother was born!  We didn't nurse for a couple of days while I was in the hospital, and it would have been pretty easy to just wean - or so everyone told me.  But I didn't want to [back to that 'what feels right' thing], the first night I was home i put my [suddenly MUCH bigger] baby to bed, just like we always did.  Or i tried.  She didn't go to sleep that first night, she was way to excited that her baby brother had 'filled up the milk.'  [That is my favorite memory of nursing her as a toddler. right there.  the look on her face when she realized the milk was back. it makes me laugh and cry just to think about it.]  So, the 2nd night, back to sleep as usual.  And it went on like that ..  we nursed to sleep and sometimes extra when she was sick.  She nursed in recovery after she had her tonsils taken out at 2 yrs 9 months [though she quickly realized that nursing hurt and she stopped for a whole week!].  After the tonsils came out [this, is another topic that I could write a whole post on] her sleep and attitude and growth improved and she seemed to quickly outgrow the need to nurse every night..  between about 2 yrs 10 months and 3 yrs 1 month she stopped asking every night, then she only asked every few days, then once a week, then not at all.  I actually remember the last time she nursed, and i am very thankful for that.. it was April 12th, 2009.  She was one day shy of 3 yrs and 1 month old.  About 6 months before that date, i had a complete emotional breakdown in a LLL meeting about weaning .. i knew it was coming [sometime soon anyway] and i was so sad and so afraid of what it would be like on the other side.  I don't remember what anyone said in that meeting, but i know they understood and that was all that mattered.  When we nursed that last time, and when i realized it was the last time..  it wasn't sad.. no one cried.

Now she is 6 years and a couple months old .. That means that just in the last few weeks she has been weaned for more of her life than she was nursing.. I can say, right now, that my baby nursed for half her life - to say that it goes by too fast is just not enough to describe what actually happened here.  I blinked and she is 6.  The time she nursed will just get smaller and smaller.. 

Thank you for visiting the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Dr. Laura at Aha! Parenting.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (and many thanks to Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch for designing our lovely button):

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rice Krispies Treat - but better!

run out of marshmellows? or looking for something with a bit more nutritional value? 

 NutButter & Honey Rice Krispie Treats
  • 3 cups brown rice krispies
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (i used sunbutter, but i think they'd be AWESOME with cashew or almond butter)
  • 1/2 cup honey
mix nut butter, honey, vanilla and salt and melt in the microwave or on the stove top (it doesn't take much) then add the rice krispies and stir until they are all covered - pour mixture into a wax paper lined 8x8 square pan and cut into squares after it cools!  I also added chocolate chips - these were super yummy, just as much a treat as the brownies i made last week and also allergen friendly!

Now i just need to catch up on all my other baking.. we are out of corn muffins, granola bars, bread, and muffins .. EEK!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

4 things, to catch up.

What i've been doing. 

1. Eating and making Amazing bread. (this recipe.) I let it rise a bit too long, so it was mis-shapen and really tall - HOWEVER, i used freshly ground rice flour (like right that min before i put it in the bread) and IT WAS SO GOOD!!!  fresh flour makes SUCH a huge huge difference.  This was a double batch.

 2. practicing for the 2nd annual Flats Challenge! This is Jamie, age 4, to the right - in his night time diaper. amazing.

3.  pineapple orange ice cream! WOW!!  about equal parts frozen orange slices and frozen pineapple chunks + apple juice to sweeten.. throw it all in the vita-mix and serve immediately.  YUMMY.

4. Mollie was REALLY happy about how many sight words she can read!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Allergy friendly brownies!

I did it! Finally! 

 Jamie is turning 4 tomorrow - today he had his 'birthday party' after our homeschool co-op  - Among the group we have allergies to dairy, gluten, egg, corn, and peanuts (and more!).  

Jamie requested brownies or chocolate cake..  

This is what i came up with after a failed chocolate cupcake recipe..  

Black bean (egg free) brownies!

  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 can (or equivalent) black beans, drained/rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1.5 tbsp oil (i used grapeseed)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup choice of sugar (I used 1/2 coconut 1/2 raw sugar) 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
Process all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips, reserving some to sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 for about 25-30 mins in a greased pan (8x8) until they pass a tooth pick test and have begun separating from the edge of the pan. 

Black bean brownie cupcakes WITH egg.

 These starwars cupcakes are regular black bean brownies decorated with William-Sonoma Starwars cupcake stencils. 

Oh, and I also made these chocolate fudgsicles (in case the brownies flopped, but the kids got to eat both!) they seemed to REALLY like them!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Garden - its May but it's June!

The garden is getting exciting! It's strange how it is both normal and ahead of schedule due to this strange summer-like spring weather - We've got nearly all our plants in - tomatoes, squash, zucchini, radishes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, peas, green beans, okra, and straw berries! I think all we have left to add is basil and a few sunflowers. I've had to weed the carrots near constantly because of crab grass and Bermuda grass coming back from the roots from last year and from seed - i need to keep up with it or our carrots will get stuck in the roots (happened last year) - I've never grown a lot of this stuff, and we usually grow peppers - this year we decided to grow more things we actually eat! (the newbies are okra, peas, beans & radishes - though I'll admit I have no intention of eating radishes I'm growing those because I read that they help to keep some bugs away) tomorrow we're going to have to get out the hose instead of they trusty 2 gal watering can..(I'm up to 6-7 trips to carry water) I just hope we can stay ahead of the bugs this year - last year we were doing alright but the july heat wave and drought got us - this year with the mild winter in afraid the bugs may be more than we can handle - so far those factors combined ruined our strawberry patch and something was really feasting on the radish leaves when they were young- our lettuce has done fine and the carrots looks great at this point so maybe it will be ok..