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Our vacation

I am becoming increasingly terrible at taking and posting pictures of various family events.

My iPhone is helping to change that a little, but iPhone pictures are what they are which isn’t always the greatest. Sometimes I forget how much better our Rebel is until I dust it off and pick it up and give it some love.

Anyway, we went on a little vacation with some of our very best friends. It snowed and it was wonderfully cozy and relaxing, just as I’d hoped. I didn’t get as much crafting or reading done as I did the time we went pre-kids, but it was still a great vacation.

So for those of you not on Facebook, here are some of my favorite shots of the vacation:


As soon as we got there, Bean was smitten with the oldest girl and was constantly asking where she was and asking her to play with her and pretty much pestering her. She handled it wonderfully, especially for an 11 year old. Here she is the first night reading a story to all the other kids, including Bean.


It was snowing when we got there and snowed all night. So there was a couple inches of fluffy stuff on the ground for the kids to play in the next day. They made a very tiny snowman. Bean was trying to direct all the snowman building operations (though given her youngest of all the big kids age and small stature, no one was really listening to her demands and by demands, I definitely mean demands), hence the bit of a scowl on her face.


She did start to lighten up a little bit. She loved the snow and being outside in it.


Her brother hated the snow. I think it had more to do with the constricting and puffy snow gear he had to wear to keep warm and his inability to be coordinated in it more than anything else. So this is the face we got when he was in his snow gear or in the snow.


Or this one with the duck lips.


He did perk up a bit getting pulled around in the tubes.


His sister was not a fan.


She preferred being in complete control.

Unlike everyone else we made a two day event out of the driving there and back, though now that I have experienced it, our kids probably could have handled one very long day of driving afterall. So on our way back we stopped at Zion National Park which was also beautiful.


The whole park is just these gigantic canyons and mesas of red rock rising up above you as you drive through. The afternoon we got there, there was a storm just passing through. Actually, we were a little concerned because when we were on the I-15 and we got to the northern part of the park, it was snowing pretty bad and we were not sure it would be a good idea to go, but by the time we got to the exit for the southern part of the park, things were much better as the storm had already passed by this part of the park. If you look closely, you can see a little powder sugar dusting on the tops in this picture.


This was our best attempt at a family picture thanks to a rock on the desert floor.


Stephen was getting a little antsy with the kids being outside the car, even though there really wasn’t much for them to get into besides dirt or far for them to go. So we didn’t do the picture thing very long.


This is what he calls my money shot. Though the cloud shadows on the rock face leave me with it feeling slightly imperfect. Not that I can, you know, control clouds or anything.


The Virgin River is so green and clear here in the park. Further down stream as you get closer to Arizona, it is muddy and red and not nearly as pretty.

It was really just so beautiful that we decided to go back early the next morning before we set off for home and do a quick walk/hike on a paved trail that ran beside the river.


It was interesting seeing the park in morning versus afternoon lighting and clear versus partly cloudy skies.


Bean had fun looking at all the mountains and big rocks and playing with her sunglasses and driving through the mile long tunnel that goes into one of the moutains in the park.

So there you have it. Our vacation in just a few pictures.

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I love cloth diapering, part 6: On the road again…

Stephen and I take a lot of short weekend trips to see family and friends. We also like to take at least one longer vacation each year to get away, relax and see new sites. We did this prior to having Bean and we both agreed that the addition of her to our family would not change that.

But even if you don’t travel much, you’ll still need to factor in the logistics of using cloth when you are out running errands, at playdates, etc. unless you want to use disposables for those times. That was our plan originally, but the rashes Bean got from disposable diapers changed things for us. Plus, I realized that it really wasn’t that hard to do cloth on the road.

So first we’ll start with out for the day type trips and then move on to more serious travel.

This is my current diaper bag:

I was hoping the new bag I ordered from Etsy would get here in time for this post, but it did not. Anyway, my diaper bag is pretty much always super stuffed to the brim like that because the cloth diapers are much more bulky than disposables. I think my overstuffing it is what has caused so much wear and tear and my less than perfect seams to split under pressure, which is why I ordered a new bag.

So if we delve into the bag a bit and take away all the items that are non-essential to diapering, this is what is needed for a typical day of errands:

From left to right: wet bag, changing mat, two cloth diapers and eight washcloths. Something I realized that is missing from this picture and my diaper bag at this moment, is my spray bottle filled with wipes solution.

My mother-in-law got me a bottle of this BumGenius bottom cleaner at my baby shower. I have since used it all up, but I just refill it with my homemade solution when I run out. So when I am out and about, instead of dunking my washcloths in the wipes solution I spray Bean’s bum and and wipe with a dry washcloth. If she has a particularly messy diaper I will wet the washcloths in a sink if I can because I don’t find the dry wipes method to be as effective as wet ones. 

The wetbag I made can hold up to two dirty diapers. So if Bean requires a diaper change while I am out running errands I just put the dirty diaper in there. The changing pad protects her from the various surfaces I’ve had to change her diaper on (everything from the floor, public restroom counter, an actual changing station and the trunk of my car) as well as protects those various surfaces from anything gross that comes from her (my sister-in-law’s playroom floor has benefitted from this on more than on occasion!). Both are lined with some vinyl I picked up from Beverly’s with coordinating fabric on the outside.

I usually “budget” four wash cloths per diaper change when I am out and about. I don’t always need this many, but if she poops I definitley do. Bean is kind of an interesting kid in that she only poops every few days and her “poop days” are an all day affair. It is kind of nice in that I don’t have to deal with poop every single day, but sometimes those poop days can be quite brutal.

So that about covers what I need for a day of errands. If I am truly going to be out the ENTIRE day I might pack a couple more diapers, some more wipes and a plastic zipper bag too, but those days are rare.

Now, lets move on to out-of-town travel. This duffel bag has become Bean’s travel “diaper” bag:

We used to use it for just the two of us when we went on a quick overnight or weekend trip, but not so anymore. It holds about half my stash in the center section and then I stuff one of the end pockets with wash cloths and the other with wet bags and plastic zipper bags.

Something that did get here in time for this post is my new large wet bag that I ordered from monkeyfootdesigns on Etsy. One thing that I do not like about using clear plastic zipper bags as wetbags is that they get all steamy and you can see it because they are clear. This grosses me out. It just does. So, I want to get or make about 1-2 more of these for use out of town and put an end to my consumption of plastic zipper bags for diapering purposes.

If we are going out of town just for the weekend, we don’t plan for washing. I just make sure I am all caught up on diaper laundry before we go. We take half the stash with us and I wash it all when we get back.

I tend to overplan on the number of diapers I’ll need for a trip because unlike most moms, I can’t just run up to the convenience/grocery store and buy a pack of disposables if we run out of clean diapers. Well, I could, but I don’t and I don’t want to.

If we are going for a longer period of time we try to figure out a way that we will be able to wash diapers while we are on vacation. Most recently for my sister’s wedding this was done by renting a condo that had a washer and dryer in the unit instead of staying in a hotel. We priced it out and it actually wound up being the same as far as cost. If we are staying with family we make sure they don’t mind us doing some laundry while we are there. This hasn’t come up yet, but if we were to have some other vacation situation we’d probably research laundromats in the area prior to our trip and plan for a day of laundry if we had to. And if it really came down to it I’d probably bite the bullet and get a pack of disposables and plan for the ensuing diaper rash. I would definitely try to exhaust all other options first though because that’s just me.

So, I think that about covers everything you need to know about going cloth. I hope you have enjoyed this little series, learned a lot and maybe even considered the switch. If you think I’ve missed anything or if you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it as best I can or point you to a site with the information you are looking for.

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Week sixteen

Dear Bean,

Today you are sixteen weeks old. You change so much every day.

I think we are getting a bit of a reprieve from the teething business because you definitely have not been as cranky this week. Your teeth still have not broken through, so I know we are in for some more eventually. I’ll take a happy baby for now though.

I think last week was your most photo and video documented week yet. Not necessarily because you did anything spectacular, but because I have found a renewed interest in photography and have been using you to practice with my camera.

This past week I noticed that you were kind of getting bored with the toys we’ve had out for the past month or so and I brought out a couple of new friends for you to play with.

As a knitter, it is pretty dang satisfying that your new favorite is the doll I made.

Today during our photo shoot I probably deserved to get the worst mother of the year award. Or that is how I felt anyway. Ever since your grandpa brought over my rocking horse I’ve been dying to get a picture of you on it. The temptation was far to great today and so I put you on it.


Not too sure about the rocking horse, with good reason.

I probably should have waited a couple more months until you are better at sitting up because you toppled right off of it (even though I was trying to help you balance) onto your bum. Thank God for thick and cushy cloth diapers. You weren’t hurt, just a little scared and that was quickly remedied by a little nursing. Thank God for breastfeeding. Anyway, it probably could have been a lot worse and I felt so dumb afterwards for even attempting it.

Things did not end there though. While we were doing standing practice you wriggled out of my hands and fell head first onto my camera which was sitting on the ground right next to us.

Yep. I’m a superstar mom alright. Even though I think that probably hurt worse you didn’t even cry and were up and giggling in a second. I’m sure you won’t hold a grudge against me for it when you are 16, so I’m not too worried. It was just a good reminder to be more careful with you because you are still little.

This summer your papa’s whole family is going to Mammoth, which they do every three years. I’m still trying to imagine what it will be like this year with a 10 month old. My first Mammoth experience happened when your Papa and I were engaged. I remembered being overwhelmed at meeting the WHOLE family for the first time and also thinking it was so neat that Papa’s family had this tradition. I can’t wait for you to experience it this year, and hopefully for many years to come.

Tomorrow we are going to meet up with some other families that my friend Emily says are “crunchy” just like us. They are part of a homeschooling group and they get together every Thursday for a park day. It will be so nice to meet some other families that don’t think it is weird to use cloth diapers, carry babies in a sling, or have homebirths. I can’t wait!

You are such a sweet and happy girl and I love you so much.

Love,

Mama

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Eye Candy Friday: 2008 in pictures

I wanted to get my shot in for Exposaroonie’s latest challenge and I decided that I would do what I’ve seen a lot of the other participants do: chronicaling the year in pictures while also revealing the favorite.

So here goes…

January


Knitted elephant made for Paula. Jan. 5, 2008


Trip to Redding for Paula’s graduation. Jan. 11 2008


We’re PREGNANT! Jan. 18, 2008


Rockin’ the Sea Bands. Jan. 22, 2008


Morning sickness is no joke. Jan. 23, 2008


Dehydration during pregnancy due to morning sickness is really no joke. Jan. 28, 2008

February


There’s really a baby in there. Feb. 7, 2008


PICC line inserted Feb. 28, 2008

March


Another ultrasound Mar. 6, 2008.


Clothes are falling off me Mar. 13, 2008.


Patchwork blanket completed Mar. 26, 2008.


First belly shot taken Mar. 28, 2008.

April


I “popped” Apr. 5, 2008.


Feeling better celebration. Paramore in concert Apr. 6, 2008.


We’re both bulging! Me & Mt. Shasta Apr. 26, 2008.


The Enchanted Forest Apr. 27, 2008.


Waterfall in Oregon Apr. 28, 2008.


End of the Oregon Trail museum in front of a real covered wagon Apr. 28, 2008.


Our love affair with Seattle began. Pike Place Market Apr. 30, 2008.

May


“Space Neenle!” (Kaela speak for Space Needle) May 1, 2008.


Snoqualmie Falls May 1, 2008.


A real lighthouse May 2, 2008.


I heart trains and the California State Railroad Museum May 4, 2008.


It’s a GIRL, May 7, 2008.


Cardigan completed May 18, 2008.


Knitted dress completed May 21, 2008.


We landscaped our backyard and added roses! May 21, 2008


Knitted onesie completed May 28, 2008.

June


My first Exposaroonie challenge June 14, 2008.


Last Disneyland trip for a long time June 20, 2008.

July


Vintage Exposaroonie Jul. 3, 2008.


Airy Fairy completed Jul. 11, 2008


Getting bigger Jul. 13, 2008


A bird made a nest in the wreath on our front door which I documented for Exposaroonie by using one of my lens attachments. Jul. 16, 2008


The best diapers ever arrive Jul. 18, 2008.

August


Could have fooled you that I actually like being pregnant. Aug. 9, 2008.


Baby shower Aug. 9, 2008


Happy birthday to us Aug. 10, 2008.


Made my own diaper bag Aug. 13, 2008.


Knitted bird mobile completed Aug. 18, 2008.


Stephen got a new baby Aug. 20, 2008


I am so huge! Aug. 30, 2008.

September


Nursery is basically finished Sept. 1, 2008.


Getting impatient Sept. 19, 2008.


Bean is here (born Sept. 24), picture taken Sept. 25, 2008 at 3:30am.


Tiny little feet and skinny legs Sept. 30, 2008.

October


Nap time Oct. 3, 2008.


I can’t believe how much I love this little girl Oct. 29, 2008. Definitely my favorite shot of the year.


Vampin’ it up on Halloween. Oct. 31, 2008.

November


Nov. 11, 2008


So funny. Nov. 18, 2008


Exposaroonie’s lines challenge… not my greatest photo ever. I wasn’t feeling very creative for this one. Nov. 20, 2008

December


Bean makes an appearance in my Exposaroonie texture shot. Dec. 8, 2008.


Snuggling with the doggies Dec. 9, 2008.


My poor baby is teething Dec. 11, 2008.


Pink fluffy robes Dec. 14, 2008.


My little rocker Dec. 16, 2008.


New stocking Dec. 18, 2008.


Keeping the tradition alive. Dec. 20, 2008.


Christmas is almost here! Dec. 22, 2008


Sisters on Christmas Eve. Dec. 24, 2008


A kiss from Auntie Andrea Dec. 30, 2008.

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More praise for my cloth diapers

Over the holiday Bean was in disposable diapers because I thought it would be easier for us since we were going to be out of town for four days.

Well, it wasn’t easier.

For one thing I felt like I was changing diapers around the clock. We went through a whole package of Pampers and about 10 Huggies during our trip.

There were two blowouts.

And Bean developed a diaper rash the last day of our trip which was completely gone 24 hours after putting her back in her BumGenius diapers, no creams or other treatments were necessary.

I was willing to overlook the blowout problem for future vacations, but I am not willing to overlook the diaper rash. Bean has never had a case of diaper rash before and it doesn’t seem fair to put her through that discomfort for the sake of a “convenient” vacation.

I know some people would probably say that diaper rash is just a part of having a baby, but it really isn’t. Prior to the introduction of cloth diapers, diaper rash was a very rare occurance. If I remember correctly it occurred in under 10% of the population. Once disposables came along it skyrocketed to 90%.

As such I’ve decided to never buy a disposable diaper again. Future vacation planning that occurs while Bean or other kids are in diapers will just have to include planning for washing whether it is researching laundromats or staying somewhere that has access to washing facilities.

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Visiting the Pacific Northwest Part 3: Pike Place Market

So we just got back from Pike Place Market and that was a really great experience.

On the way there I was able to snap a picture of the famous Space Needle from the freeway (sometimes a little traffic can be a good thing).

Jenn directed us to a parking garage and after some serious maneuvering by Stephen into a compact spot we were on our way.

There is so much to see in the market. It’s like one really huge bazaar. Also it is like a pregnant woman’s dream with all the snacks and food available along the way. They have every kind of food you could imagine: Thai, Chinese, Italian, seafood, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, etc.

There are also pastry shops and of course that famous Seattle coffee all over the place. There is this one cheesecake shop that sells little cheesecakes that are like 2-3 inches in diameter. There are so many flavors and it all looked so yummy. They also have these totally amazing cheesecake truffles. It is basically a ball of cheesecake dunked in really delicious chocolate. I had two New York style cheesecake truffles and Stephen had a Mexican chocolate one that had cinnamon and cayenne pepper in it. He said it was the perfect combination of spices and chocolate.

For lunch we went to Pike Place Chowder which has something like nine different kinds of chowder. We all went with traditional New England clam chowder.

We saw the very first Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place:

I didn’t get coffee there. I had a yummy chocolate mint mocha from a non-chain coffee shop called Local Color which also featured tons of art from local artists.

There were so many flower vendors. Flowers were everywhere. Tulips are in bloom right now so we saw a lot of those.

Little Kaela was able to con Jenn into buying her a $5 bouquet because “flowers are for princesses.” Jenn said she’s a sucker for that kind of stuff. I think if I had a little girl I definitely would be too. 🙂

We picked up a couple souvenirs, but nothing too annoying or unuseful. First we got a really great piece of artwork:

It was a little pricey, but it is large and we really need art for our house. We also got a cute onesie for Baby Wuertz:

Then before we left we got some really good, fresh donuts from a donut vendor (so good with my coffee) and some clams for dinner at the fish stand where they yell and throw the big fish.

Oh! We also have a story that illustrates just how laid back this place is. So this woman is driving through the market and getting frustrated at all the pedestrians. She starts honking her horn really loudly and this guy comes out taps on her window and says, “Hey! We don’t do that here.”

I love the metropolitan feel of this area yet the laid back nature of it. It just feels really comfortable. I also love how in the the area that the Halls live all of the houses, and I mean ALL of them, are exactly the style of house that is my favorite. There is so much nature and greenery all around too. I think the Pacific Northwest in general is one of my favorite places we have visited on vacation so far.

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Visiting the Pacific Northwest Part 2: The Oregon Tour

We set off on our tour of Oregon late Monday morning. Our first stop was some historical houses in Salem. We saw the Bush House built in 1877-78. It has a huge amount of property with really pretty gardens all around. Everything was in bloom. It is closed on Mondays though so we didn’t get to go inside.

Then we headed over to the Deepwood Estate which is next door and shares the large property of gardens. The Deepwood Estate was also closed that day.

We stopped off at the state capitol building for a quick picture and then we got on our way with the rest of the trip.

We headed out of town to Silver Falls State Park. We could have gone on a whole hike that would have taken us around the park to see several different waterfalls and behind them. It is a fairly easy hike that is actually paved, but I get out of breath a whole lot easier these days so we just hiked down far enough to get some good pictures of the south falls.

Even from that short amount of hiking I was totally out of breath when we got back up to the top. Dang squashed organs. We were stopping off at the bathroom before heading off to our next destination when we happened upon a small family of deer.

Then we headed towards Portland, stopping in Oregon City to see the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. We just barely missed the closing time by about 15 minutes so we didn’t get to go inside. There was some historical stuff on the grounds though so we checked it out.

Paula wanted us to look like travel weary settlers complete with bonnets. I tried to be a good sport about it, but it was not the picture I wanted so we took one of those too.

I have to say that covered wagons are a whole lot smaller than I expected. It is crazy to think that people actually traveled across the whole United States in one of those. I get uncomfortable in our very comfortable Accord after only a few hours. Yeesh.

Paula really wanted to take a picture with this buck we saw when we came into the park, but there was a sign that said “no climbing” so she settled on standing next to it.

Then we headed into Portland to get something to eat. The original plan had been to go to a lighthouse on the coast afterwards, but we ran out of time. And we were hungry so we decided on Portland.

We found a parking garage. It was really the first parking garage that we came upon. We should have tried a little harder to find one though. It was really, really old. The stairwell smelled like paint and had a rickity wooden staircase that we almost thought we got stuck in. None of the doors opened back. We finally decided to try the door that said “Emergency exit alarm will sound” and made it out onto the street. And that door didn’t open back up from the outside, but we at least figured we could go back around to the car entrance and get back in.

So we pretty much went to the first restaurant we saw which happened to be Jake’s Famous Crawfish. Apparently it is one of the top ten seafood restaurants in the nation and a famous Portland historical landmark.

Our food was delicious and the restaurant is really cool looking and pretty huge inside. We even had the most heavenly mini berry cobbler made with locally grown Oregon berries. It felt even better that instead of eating somewhere like The Cheesecake Factory which you can find in any major metropolitan city, that we ate at a place with history.

So then we headed back to the parking garage and it was closed! We had a total freakout moment and thought we might have to spend the night in Portland. We called the “emergency” number listed outside the parking garage and got the door code then got our car back luckily.

Yesterday we made our way to Bothell to hang out with the Halls and today Jenn is going to take us Pike Place Market. I can’t wait.

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