Monday, May 24, 2010

Jocelyns "Super Epic Birthday Cake"

Nothing is better than the smile on a three year olds face when she discovers the cake she's been begging for is right in front of her! Many special Thanks to "Whisk Kid" for her incredible recipe and video instructions via The Martha Stewart. After watching the "color" episode, Jocelyn insisted on this cake. So we found Whisk Kids blog and went to town making plans for this EPIC cake. I must of read the directions a dozen time and watched the video clip over and over just to make sure I didn't miss anything.  I bake all the time but this cake had to be perfect!

FOR THE BAKERS OUT THERE....Just a note on the Frosting & Cake... We only used the first batch of Frosting for her cake and it was PLENTY for our liking. Tasted so good too! Second day leftovers I recommend setting out of the fridge for a bit before ya eat it so the frosting softens up. Also, I had made the cake itself a week in advance and froze the individual layers wrapped in cling wrap and freezer bags, then set out to thaw before icing. Worked like a charm! The frosting I made the morning of the party.

So a very happy 3 yr old had the party of her dreams centered around "you can make that cake mommy!"
Lil Miss Jocelyn your Smile says it all!!!! Happy Birthday baby girl!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The waiting game!

Yep we're still here waiting for baby Bella to show her pretty lil face! I'm keeping busy trying not stress out but y'all know patience is far from my best quality! So how does one keep her mind off of the long wait!
Plant anything in the garden I can get my hands on... Clean the same things over and over... Let the house get trashed just so I have something to fret about... Bake yummy goodies including Jocelyns 6 layer bday cake for next weekend... Chase a big black rat snake out of the tree and save the baby robins... Making big project plans for after d-day... Get label crazy and slap labels on everything... and my two favorites... EAT and SEW SEW SEW!
My latest cute project is the pillowcase dress Jocelyn is so adorably modeling above. OMG! It's so cute and easy to make. The pillowcase was one that James' late Nana had embroidered. I have a few more I can't wait to make! I don't know about you but they look so old fashioned and cute I can't resist! Jocelyn loves it and I had to nearly pry it from her body tonight just so i could wash it. LOL! Off to go hunt down a bunch more to get creative with... Is is crazy that I want a cute lil top for myself made from one? hehehe!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Diaper Washing

So again here's another topic that everyone has their preference and the best way to do it. So here's my diaper washing how to...

Between washes I store the dirty diapers in a "wet" bag (for travel and the nursery) and/or the "dirty" bucket (sitting by the washer).
After a diaper change if it's just a wet one I simply throw it in the bag or bucket. If it's a yucky one it gets a good shake over the toilet and any solids, get flushed. One great thing about breastfeed babies is their poo washes right out in the wash! Once they start eating solids, well that's what you get solids! Ha! I avoid dropping wipes into the toilet since our toilet would probably have a fit! Honestly best to keep them out of any toilet unless you want to call the plumber!

 Cold pre-rinse with no detergent.
Hot or Warm Wash full cycle with detergent, sometimes on this rinse I add a splash of vinegar.
Another Cold rinse.

I line dry in the sun 99% of the time. The sun is the best bleaching agent and kills bacteria. When the weather is not working with me the covers hang dry inside. The inserts, prefolds, bar towels etc, I run in the dryer til they are dry. I hate using the dryer for anything so I'm constantly watching the weather to coordinate my laundry time!

Again for very detailed washing instructions and even some of the science of maintaining ph levels see...

As for detergents I use my homemade recipe but there are lots of detergents that are free of phosphates, fragrance, optical brighteners and dyes that you can find. The above link is also good for that. I've also heard that Charlies Soap is great for diapers but I have no personal experience with it yet.

So good luck on your diaper washing challenge! Once you get a hang of it, it's a breeze!

LiL' Diapering 101

I could write a book on cloth diapering so I'll try to keep it short and sweet, along with plenty of great links covering the books worth I could write here. Have fun dig thru the links and learn, learn, learn!

So here's just some quick diapering 101 using cloth diaper styles I prefer. Keep in mind you'll find what you like the best just as I did with trial and error. Every lil' one is unique as are those messes! There are dozens of different methods and diaper styles out there find what works best for you!
For starters, I like using a simple diaper cover with a layed in "insert".  Below are (left to right)
100% Cotton Unbleached Indian Prefold, Homemade Bamboo Fleece Flat, & 100% cotton Bar Towel
Here's what the diaper cover and the Indian Prefold look like ready to be put on baby. Simply fold prefold in thirds and lay in, folding down any excess to the front or back which ever you prefer.
Another option is using the POCKET diaper with the insert of your choice. Here I used again the Indian Prefold folded in thirds. I left it hanging out so you can "SEE" where it goes, naturally you'll slip it all the way in. A quick note on most pocket diapers including these that I make... If you are using diaper creams place something like a baby washcloth or similar lining on the diaper where it will act as a barrier between the diaper and the cream. Diaper Creams are a PAIN in the tush to wash out of suede cloth (which is what I use here) and many other fabrics. Save yourself the major headache and remember to "line" your diaper before using creams.

Yet another option for that tiny tush... below is an Indian prefold being fastened with a SNAPPI. Like the good ol' standby diaper pin but without the nerve racking "omg! I just stuck the baby!"
You can use the Snappi and prefold inside a regular diaper cover or in a "woolie" also known as Wool Soakers, Wool Cover, Wool Longies, etc. I hear your shock at the word wool but believe it or not it is the #1 best option for baby, hands down!
No it's not itchy!
No it's not hot!
No it's not hard!
Need more info on the benefits of wool covers....

Now for the cool links and info, where to find?, how to wash?, what is it?   Best prices for Indian prefolds.... search "prefold"  Prefolds and excellent baby pic examples, SNAPPI too!  Practically everything you need to know for cloth diapering, including styles, washing, etc.  More opinions on diapering! (can also be purchased in store at Babies R Us) NOT ready to take on the full cloth diaper experience? I love gdiapers! Yes I should be pushing my cloth diapers but I've used gdiapers with their disposable liners and with washable liners and they rock as a great hybrid diaper! My only complaint is I hate the velcro diaper chains that I pull out of the wash. Try 'em! If you prefer snaps you can always track down a diaper maker as myself and have them converted to snaps. Yes I will convert them for you! My pro snap press is sitting here waiting to be put to work!

Just an ending note...the biggest complaint I've heard and seen with cloth diapers... "we sprung a leak!"
My opinion you have leaks with disposables too! With cloth diapers make sure your "insert" isn't sticking out too. Keep in mind those super soaker chemicals in disposables, sadly baby can be left in that diaper for hours and hours! YUCK! Cloth diapering (as should all diapers) should be changed as soon as baby wets or ATLEAST every two hours. This keeps baby happy, avoids diaper rash, and even encourages potty training. Everyone has their reasons for cloth diapering... money saving, no chemicals, eco friendly, safer and more comfy for baby, etc.