Tuesday, September 28

Cloth wipes

Today, I was just thinking about why I decided to start using cloth wipes. When I first started thinking about cloth-diapering, I didn't think I would use cloth wipes, too. I figured CDing would be extra work (which I now know it really isn't), so why would I add the additional work of cloth wipes, when disposables are so convenient, and not really that expensive? Well, once I started CDing, I found out why. Disposable wipes are actually INconvenient, and here's why: When you change a cloth diaper, you toss it in the diaper pail (mine is actually a rolling hamper with a liner in it), or the wetbag, if you're out and about. So why not just dump the wipe in with it, instead of having to separate them and carry the wipe to the trash can? Using cloth wipes too actually cuts down on the work. And of course the dipes and wipes are all washed together.

Now, you can buy cloth wipes online at sites like www.kellyscloset.com or www.momsmilkboutique.com They are pretty inexpensive, and come in fun colors and prints. Or, you can do what I did, and make your own. I just upcycled a few receiving blankets from Isaiah's infant days that had a little staining from spit-up and the like. I just cut them into squares, stuck the squares together in twos with the wrong sides facing out, and sewed almost all the way around the edges, leaving an open space on one side. Then I turned them right-side-out, sewed up the hole, and then all the way around the edges again. Now I have about 40 double-sided cloth wipes that only cost me the price of thread.
I keep a bottle (my peri-bottle from the hospital, actually) next to my cloth wipes, filled with my own home-made wipe solution:
two drops lavender essential oil
two drops tea tree essential oil
water

I only use these ingredients because Rosy has such very sensitive skin. But you can add all kinds of things that are good for your baby's skin, such as olive oil, almond oil, pure castile soap (I LOVE Dr. Bronner's in Peppermint), a little baby wash, etc. You can visit http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-wipe-solution.shtml for more ideas on creating your own solution. Some recipes on this site include:

Basic Wipe Solution

This basic recipe can be adapted by changing the type of soap or oil.
1/2 cup baby oil
1/2 cup baby wash
2 cups water

Castile Solution

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap comes in several yummy scents!
1 tablespoon almond, apricot, or other oil
1 tablespoon Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap
2 drops tea tree oil
1 drop lavender oil
1 cup water

Chamomile 'n' Honey

Brew the tea, add the honey, and drink any leftovers!
1 chamomile tea bag
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup boiling water

Easy Peasy

Just three simple ingredients...
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons baby wash
1 1/2 cups water

Eight is Great

Similar ingredients as other recipes, but in different amounts.
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup baby wash
8 drops lavender oil
4 drops tea tree oil
2 cups water
If you are thinking about cloth diapering, you should seriously consider using cloth wipes, too. It's so easy, and better for you baby's skin, than the chlorine and other chemicals that commercial disposable wipes contain.

Saturday, September 18

Applesauce and Cookies

We took the kids to the apple orchard today. It was so much fun. I love watching my kids enjoy nature (if you can call an orchard natural!), and being out in the sunshine. I wore Rosy in my Kozy mei tai for the first time out. She slept the entire time! I kinda figured she would. Isaiah loved picking the apples and putting them in the bucket. He was a little upset that they didn't have a blue bucket for us to use, but he got over that pretty quickly.

We filled up four buckets full of apples. In case you didn't know, that's A LOT of apples! I wanted to make sure we had enough, though, because my plan is to make applesauce. When you make your own, you control exactly what is in it, like how much sugar (none in mine!), and it's cheaper than buying it at the store. And I don't make like a bowl of applesauce. I make enough to fill at least 10 quart-sized jars. I love to can, and I love to bake. I can use applesauce in place of some of the liquid in many recipes. My kids love oatmeal applesauce cookies, which even though they are cookies, and tremendously healthy. I let my kids eat just about as many as they want.


So here's how to make applesauce:
Don't bother peeling the apples; just quarter them (or use the cool apple-cutter-thing that cores and slices them into eight pieces. I would be lost without that thing!) and put as many as you can into the biggest pot you have. A stockpot works nicely. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then simmer for a few minutes, until apples are semi-soft. Drain. Run apples through a food mill. This will remove seeds, skin, etc. Add a little cinnamon if you like (cinnamon balances out insulin levels, keeping you full for longer!) and voila! Applesauce. Easiest thing you'll ever do in the kitchen.


And here's Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies:

  • 3/4 c oil
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 c rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 c applesauce

Mix together oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix in salt, oats, and applesauce. Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten with back of spoon. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Second easiest thing you'll ever do in the kitchen!




Let me know if you have any healthy and easy recipes. I am always looking for new recipes to try.

Wednesday, September 15

I love my cloth!

I have always wanted to do what was best for my kids and the environment. That's why I always knew I would breastfeed, and make my own baby food. But one thing I said I absolutely never would do is cloth diaper. I mean, eww. What do you do with the poop? And a stinky, poopy bucket of water? And pins? Near my baby's nether regions? No freakin' way!!

Boy was I wrong! I am an active member on www.babycenter.com/communities and decided, on a whim one day while I was pregnant with Rosy to visit the cloth diapering board, just to see what all these modern women were thinking. Well, I got a reality check, and a new perspective. So for anyone wondering what on earth I'm thinking, here it is:


  • No bucket, no soaking. No kidding. I have a rolling hamper that came with my crib. I have a waterproof pail liner in the hamper. Toss in diapers (and cloth wipes), roll hamper back under crib shelf. 
  • No stink! A breastfed baby has poop that is actually not stinky, believe it or not. You would never know that I have a hamper of poopy diapers right there in my living room.
  • No touching poop. Ever. I just lift up the pail liner, carry it into the laundry room, and dump it into the washer. Which leads me to my next point:
  • A breastfed baby's poop is water-soluble. That means, it just washes away. There is no need to swish diapers in the toilet before you wash them, like I had heard before. There are no chunks of poo in my washer, or in anyone's clothes.
  • I wash diapers every other day, but you could do less often if you have enough diapers to get you through. A baby=more laundry anyway, so this is really no big deal.
  • Pins are almost obsolete now. There are cloth diapers with velcro (also known as aplix), snaps, or you can use a Snappi, which is a "Y" shaped rubber piece with little plastic teeth on each of the three ends that grip the diaper and pull it together.
  • No more plastic pants, either. Now there are diapers with a waterproof layer built right in, and also diaper covers made of polyurethane laminate (PUL) which is super-breathable, and won't cause baby's skin to become waterlogged and break out.
I really wish I had known more about cloth diapers with my other children. I would never have used a disposable. To learn more, you can visit http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a16235/cloth_diapering. And to see all the different types of diapers available, go to www.kellyscloset.com You will never look back. I promise :)

Monday, September 13

Re-lactating: amazing

I have breastfed all three of my children. I am breastfeeding my youngest as we speak :) Breastfeeding is something I have always been passionate about. I disagree with the popular view that breastfeeding is like an added bonus for mama and baby. On the contrary, NOT breastfeeding is actually detrimental to the health of both. By artificially feeding (aka: formula), you are setting your baby up for more ear infections, breathing problems, skin problems, fussiness, future weight problems, etc. The list goes on and on. You also miss out on a very specific bond that, I'm sorry, you just cannot get from artificial feeding. Knowing that you are providing your baby with a full tummy, and every little chubby roll, BY YOUR OWN BODY is such an awesome thing. I know I'm gonna piss a lot of people off with this post, but this is the honest truth as I see it.

Now my husband has said that we absolutely will not be having anymore babies. However, I told him that I would love to maybe adopt a baby a little later on in life. My problem with this, though, would be how to feed the baby. I couldn't bring myself to give the poor thing something as substandard as formula, and certainly couldn't afford the milk from a milk bank. Would I be at the mercy of hopefully having a lactating friend who would be willing to BF another baby? Heck no!

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to make yourself lactate!! Now if I had actually sat down and thought about this, I'm sure it shouldn't have come as a surprise. Obviously this is just God's way of seeing to it that babies can be fed in an emergency situation, or even in the aftermath of a disaster. I have been reading up on this, and you can find the info at: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/relactation.html

This is such a great site with literally EVERYTHING you could want to know about BFing. Now I can be happy knowing that if (and that's a big if) we ever decide to adopt a baby, I will not have to resort to formula as "nourishment." Thank God.

Sunday, September 12

Welcome!

So glad you came to check out my new blog. I am a stay-at-home mother of 3, so I am usually pretty busy, and may not have time for a new post everyday, so please bear with me. I will post as much as possible, but there may be days, or even two or three days in a row, when I may not be able to manage it.

I have come to the conclusion, in raising my kids, that it is almost always a better idea to do everything as close as possible to how God intended it done. Here on Semi-earthy mama, we will discuss breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, buying organic, making baby food and other foods from scratch, and cleaning with natural ingredients. I would love feedback from experienced mamas, and questions are more than welcome. If I don't know the answer, I will do everything I can to find it for you.

I would love suggestions as to what other kinds of topics you would like to see on here. You can hit me with any links or information to anything you think might be relevant. I could definitely use some help getting started here!

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to click the "follow" button at the right side of this page. I hope you enjoy my blog, and find the information here useful.