05 February 2014

{crunchy living} cloth diapering journey: part 1

As many of you know, our fourth little bundle of joy is due to arrive in April! We are over the moon excited to welcome her into our family.

Once I was past my morning sickness (after Friday, though, I'm wondering if I'm really over it!) and began accepting the reality of another child in our family, I got pumped thinking about what I will do the same as I did with the other three and what I will do differently.

I cloth diapered our second child for three months. At that time, bumGenius 2.0s were the only cloth diaper in my arsenal, and I truly enjoyed her little cloth-covered bum. That is, until I got pregnant with Munchkin #3. At that point, this pregnant momma could not handle the smell and care of cloth diapers. So, much to my chagrin, back to disposables we went.

Now that I am five years past our initial cloth diapering experience, I am armed and ready to try again! This time, though we are going with prefolds and covers. I am anxious to see if I love them as much as I think I am going to.

As of right now, our little baskets are full of Green Mountain Diaper prefolds (24 yellows and 36 oranges), Ecobaby Organics cloth diapers (4 diapers that came with 2 additional inserts each), Assunta One Size Pocket Diapers (2), Bummis Super Brite (Newborn) diaper covers (2) , Flip diaper covers (3) and Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap covers (4) and Thirsties Duo Wrap Original Aplix covers (2).

GMD yellow newborn prefold
GMD orange small prefold 
Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap Covers 
Inside Tag of Snap Covers
Thirsties Original Aplix Covers
Bummis Newborn Brite Covers {notice the lower cut to accommodate the umbilical cord stump!)
Super Brite Tag
Assunta One Size Pocket Diapers
Two Flips w/ Snaps, One Flip w/ Aplix 
Ecobaby Organics Diaper w/ Two Additional Inserts
This is just the beginning of our cloth diapering journey. Stay tuned for follow-up posts!

Cloth diapers offer many wonderful health benefits for baby and financial benefits for our budget! I hope cloth diapering is something we can be successful with. If not, though, we'll adapt. :)

I'd love to know...
Do you cloth diaper?
Which ones do you love?
If you didn't/haven't cloth diapered, is it something you would consider?

Blessings to you and yours,

03 February 2014

{being wife & momma} when things don't go as planned

As a parent, I have a timeline in my mind as to when, where and how I want to share pertinent life information with my children.

So...what do I do when the timeline shatters? When someone else takes the responsibility upon himself to reveal a certain "truth" to my child before I'm ready for my child to be introduced to the subject at hand.

photo: www.thebettermom.com
My husband and I made the decision, before I even birthed our first son, that we will be open and honest about the anatomy of our bodies and the beauty of sex. In my mind, if a private body part is given a nickname or isn't talked about at all, the impression is given that the part of the body that needs addressing is dirty or "something we shouldn't talk about". If you desire a child who will open up to you during late childhood and adolescence, it is imperative that training begin from the get-go of life.

When I first began using the words "penis" and "vagina", I felt terribly uncomfortable. However, my audience was my two month old son and, later, my two month old daughter. It was helpful to practice with them! They didn't (and still don't) feel embarrassed by these words. Since my husband and I have never made a big deal of these words, my children use them in context and don't feel any shame. I think some people must think that if they use these words in their home that their children will start blurting them out in public. Not so...at least not in our family. :) They have no context past the body part. My children, thankfully, do not use them inappropriately.

The question that beckons this blog post is this:

"What do I do when my child hears the word/learns about sex before I'm ready for him to?"

Thanks to books by Jim Burns, I have compiled a few words of advice/guidance based on his thoughts and my own. 

One- God can take any unfortunate situation and form it into something beautiful. So...I challenge you to do this. Ask God how you can transform this tragedy into a blessing for your child. Look at it this way; you now have the perfect opportunity to dispel any myths he might be forming in his mind or any myths that may have been shared with him. When we stop to think about the beautiful simplicities and amazing complexities of our sexuality, we can marvel at how perfectly wonderful the LORD made us.

Two- If your child has come to you first, commend her for coming to you with this information. Let her know you're proud of her for sharing with you...that you always want her to come to you with anything on her heart and mind. Whether you're ready for this conversation or not, it's here, and you already know you want to be the one to share the birds and the bees with her!

Three- Communicate with simple and direct answers. Don't overwhelm her with the minutia of it all. However, don't hem-haw around the subject either. Our children are smart enough to know when we're hiding or embarrassed about things. Again, call body parts what they are. When you give them nicknames, it gives the impression that they're dirty or "something we shouldn't talk about". 

Four- When you begin a conversation with your child regarding sexual matters, watch for signs that your child has "checked out" of the conversation. This usually means you've answered his question or you've gone past his scope of interest or knowledge. The main thing, in my opinion, is start simple and work your way up. Ask questions. "What do you think?" "What else would you like to know?"

Five- This is the perfect time to remind her that her body belongs to her. Sometimes doctors and nurses need to see/touch our private parts in order to keep us healthy, and sometimes people who care for us need to help keep us clean, etc., but no one is ever to abuse her body and she should tell you if someone does.

Six- Most importantly, remember that The LORD gave you your child to train! Talk with him about your family's values. Find teachable moments. Show him affection in meaningful, appropriate ways. PRAY for guidance, wisdom and the right words.

You can do this!

I'd love to know...
What are some other things you would suggest?
Have you struggled with this or been overwhelmed with your child knowing too much too soon?

Blessings to you and yours.

31 January 2014

{recipe} s'mores cupcakes

Well, it looks like I'm two for two on the baked good recipe sharing. :) I really need you to believe me when I say we've backed off considerably in this department over the last year. However, having a cupcake business out of my home leaves me with a generous number of cake, cookie, bread and pie recipes to share with you.

Last year, these cupcakes were my best seller during February. There were many happy chocolate lovers on Valentine's Day in my neck of the woods. Not only are they fun to make, but they're even more fun to devour. And devour is all you can really do with these!

Don't be afraid to put your apron on and give them a shot. 

{However, be careful about putting pictures of them on Facebook or Twitter, because you will quickly have people lined up at your door ready to sample these delightfully delicious treats.}

I love the following pictures, because they show you the exact progression of the s'mores cupcake. Be sure and print out the recipe at the end of the blog, and then let me know if you make them and what you (and all your new friends) think! ;)

Cut out a piece of graham cracker using a circle cookie/biscuit cutter and place in the bottom of your cupcake liner.

Lay two pieces of a Hershey bar on top of the graham cracker.

Sprinkle these cute little jet puffed marshmallow bits on top of the first two items.

Pour in batter about 3/4 of the way up the liner.

Bake. Savor the aroma. Pull out of the oven. Try not to devour all of them.

Put a blob of marshmallow creme on top of the cooled cupcake and broil until slightly brown. Take out, let cool for a few minutes and gently press a Hershey piece into the creme.
Once the cupcake is done, feel free to top with buttercream icing. It's always fun to see a person's reaction when they realize there's a Hershey's piece in between the icing and marshmallow creme.

Click here for a printable recipe!

I'd love to know...
Are you going to make them?
How many did you eat? {heeheehee}

Blessings to you and yours.