I’ve been listening to the song “Oceans” by Hillsong quite a bit lately.  Anytime it comes on, I turn it up and belt it from my heart.  It’s where I am.  If you haven’t listened to it, you should.  

These are some of the lyrics:

“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand”  

As you probably know, I have recently taken a big jump and started doing photography.  I love it.  Everything about it so far, except for failing.  I am terrified of failing.  All logic tells me that I am okay if I fail.  I learn when I fail.  Actually I learn best when I fail!  But I hate it, and so I would much rather play it safe. Here I am though, waiting.  Waiting for clarity because every bit of me would love to keep this all to myself where I am safe.  But I feel as if God is calling me out upon the waters.  

While I wait, I am also putting the camera down a little more.  I just need the “silence”  So much is going on and I am finding myself busy, stressed, and forgetful.  Too forgetful.  Nevermind the missing keys, the “I burnt dinner because I forgot about it”, “which pocket did I put my debit card in”, “Oh my goodness, I was supposed to turn in Sam’s 30 day review 10 days ago!” No, all of this is trivial.  January 15th came and went without grieving.  Another year has come and I don’t have an 8.5 year old.  I don’t ever want to forget.  I don’t ever want to not stop and grieve the life I took on January 15th 2005.  I don’t mean to sound melodramatic.  I am forgiven.  I am so thankful for grace.  Jesus’ sweet grace!  I have forgiven myself and am so blessed with 3 little boys!  Come January though, I don’t want to forget.  And I don’t want to be reminded the way I was this year.  

I have been pregnant 4 times.  I have 3 kids and have had 1 abortion. If you do the math the way I am seeing it, you will realize that I have never lost a baby other than the one time I chose to.  I have friends who have lost multiple pregnancies.  One very recently.  And my heart hurts.  So much.  Anytime this happens I find myself asking “Why God, WHY THEM? Why not me?  I deserve it.”  This was my reminder this year.  A friend lost her baby.  A women whom I have looked up to since high school.  A woman who overflows with the love and joy of Christ.  While it is so humbling to see how beautiful she is even in times of loss and grieving, how much she radiates the Lord in her sufferings, it pains me to see her go through this.  It kinda feels like watching your sibling get punished for something you did.  (Not that I think she is being punished in anyway! 

I am reminded again that God uses all things for good if we allow him.  In both the trials of my friend and in my own trials and FAILURES.  EVEN my failures, He can glorify and make good.  Now I go.  I go and I wait, and I cry, and I sing these lyrics in my head until I fall asleep… “Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now”

 

 

Yay!  I remembered my user name and password!  With that said I wish I had more time to blog…  my brain is stewing lately!  So many topics.  Today I’ll keep it light and parent friendly.  I’m going to talk about cloth diapers!  Why, you ask? There is already so much information out there about cloth diapers.  Well that is exactly why.  When I first started cloth diapering with my first there was so much info that it was overwhelming.  Not to mention all the different types, styles, and brands of diapers.  It was most definitely a learning experience, and an expensive one at that!   I wish I would have had someone break it down for me, so that is what I’m going to attempt to do here.  First I’ll start with a do’s and don’ts list.

Do:
*Set a realistic budget and stick close to it
*Talk to local cloth diapering moms to find out what works for them (more on this in a bit)
*Find which kind of diapers work best for you
*Find a wash routine that works for you (more on this)
*INVEST in a diaper sprayer! (more on this later too)
*use natural fiber inserts or prefolds to stuff pockets with
*a strip every once in a while if needed
*Support a WAHM or Local business when you can!

Don’t:
*Break your budget and buy tons of expensive diapers -It’s not worth it. We all chose to cloth diaper for different reason, but one we can all agree on is that it saves money if done right.
*spend the money on special detergents- I never had any luck with any of those “cloth diaper” detergents. While they smell amazing, my diapers wore quickly and I could never get the stinkies out! I basically had to start my stash from scratch with #2 because of this.
*assume just because the diaper is expensive or popular, it’s going to be a great diaper. (more on this)
*waste your time with microfiber! It’s isn’t absorbent for long and it stinks, stinks, stink! If you do choose the microfiber route, don’t be afraid to use bleach every once in a while, because otherwise they just don’t get clean enough to work correctly.
*strip with dawn!!!!!!!
*think cloth diapering has to be all or nothing ( I cheat! I use sposies for night time diapers and some days I just have cheat days)

Now to cover those “more on this” topics. Here is my story. I live in Spokane. When I first began my cloth diapering journey I looked to an online cloth diapering forum. In this forum Fitteds and specialty detergents were extremely popular. Had I talked to local moms I would have found out that these are NOT favorites here.   As I mentioned previously, I basically had to start over with baby number 2 because my diapers were so worn by the time I got pregnant with him. I believe this is due to multiple mistakes.  First, I bought a good amount of fitteds… expensive, adorable fitteds. I also had prefolds with covers, some AIO’s, and some pockets. Now I also spent the money on those specialty detergents. I could not get my diapers clean. I washed and washed and stripped with blue dawn and rlr…. my diapers reeked, were not absorbent, and were leaving my poor little guys boy bits fiery red! With all of this, my expensive fitteds and most of my other diapers wore, the fitteds had holes and were basically just shredding (even my big popular brand fitteds I will leave unnamed!) The PUL of most of my pockets and AIO’s was cracked or worn down. Both AIO’s and Fitted smelled heavy of ammonia at all diaper changes. Once I switched to Prefolds, covers, pockets and regular Tide or Country Save I never had a problem. I have needed to strip less than a handful of times (and I’m on baby 2 with these diapers) and that is done with extra hot water washes with no detergent. As many washes as it takes to have sud free water and they are nice and clean! Usually no more than 2.

This leads me to my next topic, my wash routine. First I’ll note I have a top loader AND that you kinda have to find what works best for you. It should probably look a little something like this.  Always have it on your largest water setting.  Warm wash with a small amount of detergent, I use about a half scoop of Country Save for a full load of diapers. (My idea of a full load of diapers is a kitchen sized garbage pale full to the top) Next, hot wash with 3/4 scoop of Country Save and about a tablespoon of Calgon. Then a Hot wash with nothing added.  You may need to adjust this accordingly based on the amount of diapers and your washing machine.   Now I also want to note that I don’t rinse any diapers until my kids start solid foods. Breastmilk poo doesn’t need to be rinsed off. I am unsure of Formula, but I’d go with rinsing for formula poo since the make up is different. I rinse by spraying with a diaper sprayer. I spent way to much time doing the dunk and swish before I finally gave in and bought a diaper sprayer… So worth it! I went ahead and spent the money for an actual diaper sprayer, but there are some tutorials on how to build your own (for much cheaper!) For a simple tutorial go here.  I dry my prefolds in the dryer and hang dry all my PUL with an occasional high heat dry to re-seal it.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. If you are looking to cloth diaper I hope this helps!

Today I seem to have more to say than other days, so I figured I’d blog. If you are wondering what I had to say earlier go here.

There is so much to say today, but I think for tonight I will end with parenting.  We have decided that gentle parenting is how we want to parent our children.  Mind you, we have 3, well 2, not so gentle boys, and 1 sweet baby boy who I’m sure will follow in his older brothers *wild* footsteps.  Now I love these boys with all of my being and love being a mom. That said, it is dang hard.  DANG hard.  If you are a mom you’ll get what I mean.  If you are a dad you’ll get what I mean. By bed time tonight I was done.  Today, all day, it was just me with the boys. We had an overall good day.  I soaked up moments with them, like my 2 year old getting out his toy guitar and rocking out and singing, or watching my 5 year old joyfully do laundry, or seeing my giggly little baby boy play with his feet, learn how to sit up, and look at me with those sweet smiling eyes. These little things alone make it all worth it.  That said, by the end of the day, and even a few times during the day, I found myself getting short and snappy with my older boys. * I do love that my 5 year old will call me on it when I start turning into “mean mommy.” The kid is awesome and keeps me true to my word.*  After the disasters my 2 year old creates in those moments where he knows he can get away with it (you know, like dumping his juice on the couch), and the constant negotiating and arguing from my 5 year old, and meeting the needs of a young baby, I am drained.  I find that no matter how important it is to me to remain calm and gentle with my children, it’s not always easy.  So tonight after all kids were asleep *AN HOUR LATER THAN NORMAL* I found myself feeling guilty, discouraged, and tired.  Why?  I mean we had a good day.  Then it dawned on me.  I felt like a failure.  My kids went to sleep at 9, INCLUDING my baby. I was short a few times and I’m sure that is going to screw them up forever!  Where did I conjure up these ideas that: 1) my kids have to be to bed early every night, and if they are not I am a horrible mom and they aren’t getting enough sleep, and my baby is never going to sleep through the night unless I get him on a strict schedule!  2)  That getting short with them and raising my voice to get their attention sometimes is going to screw them up forever.  From all the information.  From all the moms who make judgements on how others parent.   Sometimes it’s too much.  My kids are good.  They know they are loved.  And they know that they don’t have perfect parents.  I think that is important.  Tonight I read books with my boys and answered my 5 year old’s questions instead of making sure they got to bed on time.  It was worth it.  Today I shouted and snapped a few times when my patience was tested.  And I apologized and exhibited the need for forgiveness.  Everything we do teaches and shapes our kids.  While I will continue to strive to live out the fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22-23) towards my family, I am human, and sometimes I have human reactions.  I know this though, I am doing the best I can while trusting the Lord to step in my weaknesses and shape my heart.  

So, if you find yourself reading this after a long day, (you know, those days you let out a big sigh once the kids are in bed), or you are feeling guilty because some days you just don’t cut it and supermom is far from who you are, know that you are not alone.  You are human.  A very normal imperfect human who has very imperfect human children.  So continue showing them what that means.  Take in those moments that make it all worth it, and instead of beating yourself up over mistakes, use them to teach forgiveness.  We all need to learn to forgive, and we all need forgiveness.  

It is a month away from Christmas so knitting is what I find myself doing much of the time. Hats and mittens for the boys, gifts for family members… knit knit knit!  I absolutely love knitting…. I get most of my patterns from http://ravelry.com.  Tons of free patterns!  I love looking at a pattern or two to get ideas on how to make it or modify my own version of it.  Like this

image

monster hat!  I modified this adorable pattern to make it better fit my 1year old and I changed the eyes and ear flaps.  The original pattern can be found here:http://www.cyn.ca/knit/patterns/brainmonster/
Or the adorable felted slippers I made for my sister in laws birthday.  Like I said, I love knitting, but by Christmas, these.hands.will.be.tired. 

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now, and my husband has been encouraging me to start one as well.  Come to think of it, almost pushy.  I can’t say I blame him though, I have A LOT to say sometimes!  This blog will be a little of everything that is me.  Off the top of my head, parenting, food, crafts, pictures (I tend to take a fair amount of pictures), and I may even get a little deep sometimes.  I hope you can all enjoy this as much as I do!

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