We have cloth diapered for almost 8 years! But . . .

we kinda cheated because we used our fav local diaper service, Do Good Diapers. It was time for us to do our own dirty work but we will definitely use their diaper stripping service. Now that we’re on our own, I took stock in what we had and what I knew I had liked over the years, and hated.

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Wool covers

I love them. The lanolizing is an extra step and yes, a big poop in them is a pain to clean up, BUT, they are so great on their skin and super absorbent. I bought these two but had a couple of these as well. You’ll need to get some lanolin to re-seal the waterproof nature of the wool.

Prefolds

Go for thick, people, because they will break down over time and who wants pee running out starting early? I snagged a dozen of these, pre-washed and dried them and they’re ready to absorb.

Pocket

Just because sometimes if I know it’s a poopy time of day, these can be easier to wash, I also bought a half dozen pocket diapers.

Inserts

We used to use a double insert for night diapers a few kids ago and those ones were pretty well worn so I selected a package of these to slide inside the pocket diapers. They’re charcoal bamboo and super absorbent.

Disposables

And these are our night diapers. They RARELY leak and are compostable. They also never result in a diaper rash so we use them on trips, too! Yes, she is in a size 5 pull-up. They’re easier on and off and more absorbent.

Diaper Bag for Pail

This sucker holds a bunch and then we drag it downstairs to wash. We’re doing diapers every day or two. It’s not a big deal because we have these new high efficiency washer & dryer units and are already doing laundry all the time anyway!

What works for you?

If I had it all together, I’d have a really ready post for you to welcome and be ready to smash 2018 with all our goals: fitness, food, family, faith, everything all shiny and ready to be B E T T A H.

But the truth is, I’m finding already these few days in, I’m still the same old me. I’m still eating ice cream while ruing my stress coping mechanism. I’m still not washing my face or shaving my legs on the regular. And the laundry pile has been added to without any sign of someone (ahem ME) folding or putting it away.

Maybe I don’t believe in resolutions anymore.

But I did smile more at my children the last few days. I did tell them I loved them through gritted teeth as they thrashed around, decidedly not getting into their snow gear willingly despite the fact we needed to drive to the train station. I did make buttermilk pancakes for dinner and share some with my snot nosed freshly minted toddler (she’s one and I’m in denial) instead of the spinach I had planned.

And I made up an entire character fleet for Playmobile & Lego wars replete with voices and accents and staged the battle all on my own with the kids the other evening. EZRA is this reluctant one who is para military and constantly complaining about his helmet fitting and the Sand God is a surfer dude who would prefer to go back to the pyramids instead of fighting in medieval times. Follow? Me neither.

But the kids were laughing.

And watching them laugh at my nonsensical silly storyline that has continued for days has given me new confidence as a mom.

I don’t have to be fit. I don’t have to be wrinkle free. I just have to be fun.

I surprised myself. I’ve been faking it til I make it a lot as a mom. Grinding it out until I can escape into my phone during long nursing sessions. Hoping to scoot upstairs to organize my office and make it delightfilled and pretty to assuage my discontent at the children’s messes.

I wasn’t faking it having fun with them. They think I’m funny and maybe I am.

If you’re the same old you this year, already overwhelmed by the beautiful and fun lives others appear to be living (thank you, social media!), know this: maybe the same old you has something wonderful buried within. And maybe you just need to relax into yourself to find it.

Okay, I’ll be over here nursing my baby  toddler, itching my dry winter Minnesota frozen skin, and hoping to defrost meat before dinner time. I’ve been busier on instagram than blog lately (hangs head in sheepish dismay) so catch me there if you’re missing me in your inbox.

Meanwhile also planning: flannel skirts in the Whole Parenting Goods shoppe soon, those affirmation guides finished, decorating my house almost done, and planning the Minnesota Blessed is She “Wild” retreat for August 11th!!

I pealed back the adhesive on the box. Let out a big sigh. Stuck it shut. Set it out for the post. Let the glass screen hit my heel on the way in. Scooped up my toddling baby and headed back into the fray that is the kitchen stocked with small children.

The fudge I mailed my friend had no note inside. I haven’t even emailed him to tell him it was from me. I hope he reads the return label. I hope the squirrels didn’t eat it on his front step, gnawing their way into the smooth chocolatey goodness. It was my overdue thank you for his kindness, his time.

In my ideal world, I had it all planned. I would enclose a Mass card. A handwritten note. Even gift wrapped the treat.

In my real world, it sat in my freezer for two months too long and barely made it out the door.

Are you also finding this to be a season of imperfect gift giving?

The first night we had Blessed Conversations at my house, we had moved in that day. Sheet rock dust was everywhere and the furniture in temporary places. No felt pads under any chairs. Not lights covering the swinging bulbs from the ceiling. Each subsequent meeting, the ladies see the house a little more done. This weekend when they come, they’ll see it so close to finished. But if I had waited for the right time to host, I would still be waiting.

In my ideal world, the gifts for niece and nephews are labeled already and marked, wrapped in fun paper, placed in boxes to be mailed.

In my real world, the wrapping paper is coming via amazon prime soonish and I think I have gifts for everyone. There may be some last minute sewing.

I gripped the steering wheel hard today, dropping both boys at my sister’s house for some fun, driving around with just the baby, wet diapered, awakened too early from her nap for school time pickup, awash with frustration. My house is strewn with toys, styrofoam chunks (don’t let the baby put that in her mouth!! I shout regularly), my sewing orders almost all out the door, my laundry almost folded, my sleep so blurred.

Feeling helpless makes me want to stop giving. Stop giving of myself. Turn off and dry up. If it’s not perfect or ordered, I want to turn away from it.

A dear friend loses her son at 20 weeks in utero. Another still aches for her twins. Two more lost their babies early on in pregnancy, one sharing here. I want all the babies alive and back. I want these sisters to experience the gift of the baby, the perfect gift, the gift in their arms, healthy and spluttering.

Imperfect gifts and imperfect giving can’t stop us, shouldn’t stop us, from giving the gift of ourselves. The effort means everything.

Keep showing up, sisters. Keep showing up with yourself, you, the imperfect wonder that you are. The world needs us, as messy and sad and lacking in hand written notes as we are.  I believe in your value, your contributions. Let’s appreciate each other’s imperfect gifts, and our own.

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