How It Really Went….

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During a frigid February week our fuzzi buns arrived. (That sentence just makes me crack up…) The kids were super excited by the gloriously vibrant colors and cushy-ness of the diapers. Pretty Princess grabbed one shouting

“It’s a pillow for my tushie!”
The colors were really awesome (they had better be, I sent them back to the company after they shipped us a dozen muddy brown & beige ones after we clearly ordered the “new vibrant shades” . I did not want the outer shells looking like what was going to be on the inside of them.) Anyway, we were all smiles and “ooh” and “yays” for about two hours. Then, I sat down to look everything over when I put the kiddos down for a nap.

Hmmm. I assessed my earthy organic box them came in. No instructions. “It’s ok,” I thought “That must mean they’re really simple. Or you just get some infusion of intuition on how to use them”

Ok. So I moved on to inspecting the liners. Hmmmmm. Some were wider than others and some were shorter, by about 2 inches. Again, no instructions so I wasn’t exactly sure which inserts to use. Still, I carried on.

On to the diaper shells. Cute colors, correct quantity and a plethora of replacement elastic bands to adjust the waist of the diapers. “Won’t be needing those for a while” I said as I chucked them into a basket nearby, catching a glance at the only piece of paper that came with the diapers : my 1 year money back guarantee.

But then I realized one of the diapers was already missing an elastic band. Actually it wasn’t missing, just off the button and lost in between the minute little fabric tunnel that it pulls through. I tossed it also to the side and let myself be down a diaper. There were no instructions and I wanted to move on to adjusting the diapers correctly so I could just pop em on the kids when they woke up.

Ah, but I began adjusting and realized that I had no clue what the different number on the elastic meant, which button holes correlated to which button or how to make them the right size.

I logged online to start looking up help via the web. Luckily, my friend Karen the cloth diaper queen happened to also be online! I jumped at the opportunity and starting asking her questions. After we messaged back and forth a couple times, I felt like I had this diaper thing in the bag. I signed off as the kids awoke and began cloth diapering.

A couple days later, Karen e-mailed me to check in on my vital signs. I mailed her back this accurate summary:

Day 1– I pretty much was like “These are from the devil!” because I sprayed poo all over my bathroom, didn’t fasten them correctly & had leaks, and one kid had them on WAY too tight. I tried not to panic as I knew I had destroyed any and all past evidence of disposable diapers. I told myself I was not stuck, that I could always back out the next day when I could run out for a “fix” of Pampers. For now, I had to truck through the evening without that luxury.

Day 2 I attempted a 1 hour out of town visit with them, still fumbled a lot, had some massive leakage with Chubs. Made quite a spectacle of myself “demonstrating” how “easy” and awesome cloth diapers are as I needed to use the host’s washer/dryer to clean my son’s clothes. Still feeling like they were going to ruin my life slightly.

Day 3- I actually feel pretty good with it, I figured out how to use the sprayer without making it look like a splatter paint party…and I got the elastics adjusted right! Woo hoo!

End of Day 3– Why did they poop so much today??? And why are these diapers stinking like a wet dog?

Middle of the night Day 3
– I must hate myself. I can smell those diapers from my bedroom.

Day 4– Visit to Mom’s house. Taught Mom how to use them. When I was unloading the stroller from the trunk, a magic pack of Pampers was discovered. I felt something in me leap for utter joy. I kept this discovery a secret though, and slipped a couple into my hoodie when no one was looking.

End of Day 4– Put them in the Pampers for the evening and did not have to do the wash! Did not tell anyone, kind of feel a little rebellious.

Day 5– I hate laundry, but I’m starting to get the hang of the diapers. The kids look really cute in them. Wonder if they make them for adults, ha ha.

Day 5, 1 minute later
– OMG, they do.

End of Week 1– Very tempted by the return policy, should I just quit and go back to normalcy?

End of Week 3- The buns stay. But we sporadically use disposables to “stretch” our laundry time (ie: oh yay! only 3 loads of laundry today because we used 2 disposables during the night!) Also, no more fuzzi buns on the road. They give me fuzzy brain. I really don’t like the idea of toting around a Shop Rite bag with sopping wet diapers in it for hours until I return home. And then forgetting them in the trunk of the car until I come across a couple of fuzzi–bunsicles the next day when I load up the car with groceries. I can’t think of anything more gross than when I defrosted the frozen soiled fuzzi buns. That was definitely not awesome.

End of month 1- In summary, they’re ok. They work for us because 98% of the time, it’s me with the kids, at home. So if we’re here anyway, they might as well be salvaging my precious disposables as much as possible. I can deal with the more complex diapering at home and I’d much rather be socializing with my friends while I’m visiting them, instead of washing my kids linen’s in their toilets. All in all, fuzzi buns gets four stars from me. One for appearance, one for convenience, and two for the $25 a week it’s saving us.

A change and then some

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Editor’s Note: A couple weeks ago, I typed up this post amidst new changes in our life. I wrote about our austerity of living. (with such humility! ha!) Of course now looking back, I am glad I didn’t post this then because it definitely needs an updated post to accompany it to explain how it really went down. Instead of a new post however, I just inserted my “reality checks” in bold brackets as I re-read this post through my wiser eyes. Read on oh jubilant blog reader….

A Diaper Change

Camera Guy & I have come a long way. In our college years, we each had a cellphone, computer with high speed internet, a paycheck to blow on clothes, food, and seemingly endless Wal-Mart or Eatin Park runs. Our perspective dorms were stashed with cable TV, microwaves and vending machines. Our life was in “on demand” mode. We felt like going out for burgers, we went out. A group of friends wanted to watch American Idol, on it went. Ramen noodles at 4 am? Pop it in the microwave.[There is nothing wrong with a microwave]

When we got married, life shifted gears but it was still primarily still on demand. [because we didn’t have kids] We both had our own Facebook. The internet was slower, but still there. The tv wasn’t loaded, but we still were able to get basic. We had a microwave, a dishwasher, two cellphones, a brand new GPS. If we felt like going anywhere, we could go. [no kids!] With or without MapQuest. It was really quite convenient.

Now, seven years since we’ve been together, we find ourselves at a spot we never would have willingly planned back in our early on demand phase. Not to say we aren’t happy, but you know how when you’re a kid and you think

“I hate asparagus, I will NEVER eat it or make it for my family” [we eat asparagus now]

and then one evening you find yourself cooking asparagus, willingly or quite contently eating it and daresay, enjoying it ? Then, before you know it you’re coming up with every side dish imaginable that involves asparagus [sad but true],writing cookbooks on the nutritional value of asparagus [did not do this], and ordering asparagus apparel online [may have done this]? Well, it’s kind of like that. Like a 180.[or a 360]

We find ourselves living microwave, dishwasher, internet [that didn’t last long], Facebook & cable free. [I pine for a microwave] Still driving my station wagon from college. [not by choice] Still using the GPS, “Judith”, [we named her after this SNL skit]

with outdated maps. Still unable to really grasp the “texting” phenomenon or keep up with it. And now, eating whole grain brown rice. Sometimes we feel Amish.

Sometimes it feels like a really long Lenten fast. Despite that, I don’t know why, but we just can’t help but leave it the way it all is. [chuckle] There is just something so wonderful about all our free time to spend together as a family. There is some type of a freedom in giving it all up. I know this is no new news to some of my friends & relatives who already live this way, but it was beautiful discovery for us. [for the 2 days it lasted]

We didn’t realize the excess of wasted time we spent on the computer, watching our “shows” on TV, checking our status updates or voicemails. Who knew food warmed up just as quick on the stove and more evenly? [and who knew you could ruin so much more cookware this way] We never thought that washing dishes together could be romantic. I guess by stripping away the excess in our life, ie: “Do we really need this?” we subsequently gave our selves a huge gift of saved money and quality time. [and crazed days of “o.m.g. I must hate myself”] And quality conversations free of, “hang on one second…” [and instead, ” i am loosing my mind!”]

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all daises and roses [couple more belly chuckles]. There are definitely inconvenient times when I have a chance to blog but I can’t because there’s no service. [not anymore!] Or when the kids are in “drive-Mommy-insane- in- 10 –seconds- or- less” mode and there’s no new episode of Sesame Street to save the day. [still true] Or the dinner. And I’m forced to listen to the Wiggles tape for the thousandth time in the week…Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck when I have youth ministry bulletin deadlines to meet and Panera limits my session to 30 minutes, bumping me off seconds before I click “send”. And on top of that gets my smoothie order messed up. (minus 10 points, Panera).[that was so special.]

Regardless, frustrations or not, we still say to leave it the way it is. Living simply so you can simply live is simply what life is about. [ah, we were so niave]

The cherry on top, or what have you, was our most recent downgrade. From disposable diapers to Fuzzi Bunz. I know, I have half of my friends out there cheering for me. But the other half are screaming at the computer, have I lost it? [on day 1 of cloth diapers, I pretty much thought I did] I, who always vowed I’d never wrap my kid in a washcloth or taint my beloved washer with feces? No, I haven’t. I just went to a baby shower ,saw one in person, put that together with the realization that Pretty Princess & Mr. Chubs are both older now, not changed as frequently, and their diapers aren’t that messy anymore. Plus, I’m not going to lie, I thought the colors & patterns we’re so trendy! So truthfully, I read up on them, considered the $20/week savings and CG who breathed a “Finally!” sigh, placed the order last week. We decided to still keep disposables on hand for travel, night time and any baby under the age of 1. I will not change cloth diapers unless the “present” is a solid one. [so naturally, the first week I use them the kids have everything but solid presents, not once but about 3 times a day]

Oh, and the best part? [wait there’s a best part?] Thanks to this cool tool The Diaper Sprayer” , nothing goes in my washer except stained diaper inserts. [and everything instead goes all over my toilet seat & bathroom because I have horrible aim] Retreat house home & cloth diapers? This was a change I never saw coming. From “on-demand” to “down-to-earth”. From status updates to conversations over washing dishes. Someone out there might be praying for me to live a simpler life and I just may have to thank them. [maybe I’ll thank them some other time. But how it really went down? Read the next post]