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I have been married for 6 years now, stay at home with my two wonderful boys (2 1/2 and 5 mo). I also watch 5 other children in their home part time. I cloth diaper both of my boys, using hand knit, by me, wool covers and prefolds. I try and make a lot of our food from scratch and hopelessly fail at keeping house, but I try.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We've Moved to Sara's Sleepy Sheep

This is the last blog on this URL. I wanted to make a more official statement that I am no longer using this blog. Eventually when I figure out how to get the posts on here onto my new blog, seamlessly, then I will do so and delete this blog entirely.

You may be wondering why I"ve decided to stop using this blog. It's for a variety of reasons really. Some of it is that I want to clean up my blogging a little bit. . . do some 'housekeeping' if you will. Instead of being all over the place with topics I really should stick to the goal of the blog. Part of it is that the email associated with this blog is no longer in use. I have been flooded with weird spam to the point that I can't even navigate the old email anymore. Being as computer illiterate as I am, I've just decided to set up a new blog since I couldn't figure out how to simply change the email address for this one. The biggest reason however is that the Etsy shop I created is under the name Sara's Sleepy Sheep, since The Sleepy Sheep has already been taken. I don't plan on opening it anytime soon, but thought I should grab a shop before somebody beats me to the name! I do eventually plan on using it!

So, in short, you can catch up on my new blog at:

Thank you for continuing to follow me there!


Friday, May 20, 2011

The Cost of Diapering: Diaper That Baby for Free!

I know that you are expecting the next post in the series on the costs of diapering to be on the cost of different accessories of using cloth. I have decided to forgo all daily post themes for the next week to highlight a little challenge I've come across. Flats and hand washing! When I first saw this I thought to myself 'What in the heck! Hand washing? Really? I don't do that!!' Then I started hearing more and more about how much people LOVE using flats. They had been on my mind for several months anyway, because they would be something so very easy to add to my product line. No real work involved. Measure, serge, thank the Lord for the income! And using recycled materials. . . well, how inexpensive would they be for my customers? I love to provide quality things on the cheap. So I was planning on making a bunch for myself to test out on my Baby Gee. . . Oh, wait. . . Little Gee isn't a baby anymore (tear!). Well, heck. Since I"m testing out using flats anyway. . . what's one more step of hand washing them in the name of helping parents discover more affordable ways to diaper their babies?

A Few Horror Stories

I have been reading on more than one online article that because people are still having babies, and still out of jobs, low income or other financial stresses they are stooping to some dangerous ways of saving money on diapers. There is no government aid for providing parents with diapers. Wic and Food Stamps do not cover this cost. Unfortunately I'm not sure they offer suggestions on solutions. So parents are leaving babies in disposables for hours (I'm talking like all day in the same 'sposie). Not only is that disgusting but it's unhealthy. Baby's skin may still feel dry(ish!) but it's still sitting right against urine. Old urine, soaking into chemicals. Fresh urine is sterile, but it does not stay that way! Babies are at higher risks for rash when left in a wet diaper for extended periods, no matter what kind it is! Another thing I hear of people doing is trying to blow dry the disposable to reuse it. Same problem. Now they're sitting in cooked urine. With fresh urine on top! Even worse, some are scraping diapers out and reusing them. I'm sure you've already got a horribly yucky picture of that in mind, so I"ll leave it at that. It's not healthy!!! This is why this challenge came about!

Who Can Take the Challenge?

You may be wondering who has the time to fold all these fancy diaper styles. . . Maybe you're curious as to how long they will take to wash and dry? I"m hoping they'll dry overnight so I can only make myself 12 for this challenge. As far as the challenge goes, there are two different surveys to take when you're done. One for those of us that can put away all our beautiful fitteds and prefolds (or whatever style diaper) away and only use flats 100% of the time and only hand washing/drying them. They have another survey that is more suitable for working parents. This one allows for ones whose daycare wont except flats or for whatever reason can not commit to the full time challenge. When it comes down to all the time. . . as in the only diapering system you use? ANYBODY CAN DO IT! Half the time the reason we wont try something is because we're afraid to fail. Not trying is failing! That's like giving up before the game even starts!

Here's an idea of who can do this:
Somebody w/ or w/out a washer and dryer
Somebody living in a shelter could do this.
Stay at home parents could do this.
Working parents can do this even if their child care wont help.
Working parents whose childcare is a gift from God and will take the time to use some flats!
A 5yr old can do it!! (really, she can! Check the first video here!)

Here's what you need to be able to start this as a challenge or for your only diapering system: A sink. Some soap. 2 covers. 12 Flats (if they take longer then I think they will to dry just wash as they get used or when you have only 6 clean diapers!). A few extra minutes!

If you're already folding prefolds then you can get this down! For the most awesome video's and tutorials I've come across, look under the resources for this challenge at the bottom of the page.

Here's My Plan for This Weeks Blog Posts

Each day I will report at the end of the day when the diapers have been washed, what my experiences were. I will have The Hubs help me take pictures to highlight a different fold and putting a diaper on Little Gee each night. At the end of the challenge I will not only fill out the survey but I will report back here on how I feel about the challenge. I also will give myself the added challenge of not spending a penny on this. I do have to buy more serger thread to make more flats. . . but I would have to buy that anyway, so give me a break! So this will show you how you or anyone, really can diaper your baby for free. With out a dime spent!

Will you join me? At the top right of my blog you will see a sad attempt of trying to 'grab the button' for this challenge page. I"ve given up for the moment on mastering that one. I'll try again later!. Anyway, the first and last link both take you to the page you need to go to. On that page there is a green button asking you to "Join the Flats Challenge" click on it and fill out the form! Comment here to let me know you're taking the challenge!

Also, please remember, this is my last week for posting on this blog. I have opened up a new blog for a few different reasons. Please check there for the updates to this challenge and any future postings!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crisis Cleaning and Growing Babies

Well, again, it's Tuesday. Time to report to my readers. We were in zone 2 last week, the kitchen. Yeah. It's pretty embarrassing right now. So is the rest of the house. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view I guess, Little Gee's birthday party is on Saturday. So what am I going to do with this mess? Crisis clean of course. I hate it so much it amazes me I let it get to this point.

Well, I normally will crisis clean by setting my timer for 15 minutes, working in one room. I repeat that 3 times, then move on to another room after a 15 minute break. Does that make sense? An example would be I spend 15 in the kitchen, 15 in the dining room, 15 in the bathroom then take a 15 minute break. Then I would move on to the front room and bedrooms following the same pattern, again and again and again until it's spotless.

Fortunately, I've got my head on slightly straighter than normal. It's Tuesday and the party isn't until Saturday evening. So my plan is this:

Tuesday: Bake and freeze cupcakes (unless they turn out horrible like they did for Dizzy's party, which is why I'm starting today! I"ll repeat that process every day until I give up and buy them on Friday night) Working in 15 minute intervals I will clean the front room only. Taking breaks every 45 minutes. Between 15 minute intervals I can stop, play and spend time with the kids, as they are truly more important than not embarrassing myself on Saturday.

Wednesday: Repeat cupcake fiasco if necessary. Repeat 15 minute intervals from yesterday, on the dining room.

Thursday: My focus, using the same pattern, will be the kitchen and bathroom (yes, the kitchen will have to be detailed again on Saturday, but this way it will be faster, easier and less stressful)

Friday: Put focus on both bedrooms. Our bedrooms are never nice enough to leave doors open, and for once I'd like that to happen. Also, if cupcakes are truly a disaster I will purchase some from the Walmart bakery, unfrosted and ready to decorate.

Saturday: Using different shaped snack cakes I will make Little Gee his very own replica of our neighbors dog in cake. Toby is such a cutie and being a smaller dog, and barely 6 months old, he has quickly become Gee's favorite. I can't wait! Then I will decorate the cupcakes as Toby's face:) Maybe adding in a few other dogs depending on how confident I feel or how bored I get making edible Toby's. At 1:30 all of my hair will get chopped off. Some of my readers may not know how long my hair is. It's more than 10 inches in it's longest layers. But all of it is going to get chopped off and donated. Then, come home, finish party preparations and greet guests. I can't wait! (oh, wait. . . I can! I can wait for more time/energy to get the house ready. . . and I"d still like to pretend Gee is my tiny little baby who cries like a wounded piglet when he's mad)

I am ignoring Zone Work this week. . . . Just not enough time, and I'm hitting every room in the house anyway, right?

Happy Birthday Gee
I would like to remind all my followers that I'm moving my blog this week. The new blog location is Check it out:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mommy Monday #2

My dearest little Baby Gee isn't a 'baby' any more. He turned one last Friday, and this Saturday is his first party. At the same time it breaks my heart, I know all babies have to grow up. As a mom my job is to nourish and nurture my babies until they can fly on their own. We went to three grad. parties this weekend too. I am so glad I'm not there yet. I still have a few more years, thank you God!

So Little Gee had his 1yr check up today. All the concerns I've had for his legs and mobility are just a mothers excuse to worry. He's perfectly fine in all those matters. However, his weight, I've been told, is horrible. According to the charts Gee is in the 95% for his height, and less than the 30th% for his weight. That means he's malnourished. I guess they want babies to be perfectly proportioned these days. Dr. K even had the nerve to tell me it'd be fine if he was in the 5th % both ways. . . because then at least he'd be proportionate. However, you may remember that Dizzy has gone through a few tests because, while he's proportionate, he's on the low end of the charts. They made us do blood tests and an EKG to see if he had a growth hormone deficiency or a weak heart preventing him from growing. They even started talking about doing a bone age test. Who know's how much that would cost?!

So what's a mother to do? This is my second child and both children have been labeled as malnourished at least once in their life. You'd think the Dr. would get a clue that maybe my kids are just destined to be skinny and or short. I'm only 5'1" and that's pretty tall in my family for the women. My tallest brother might be 6'1" but that's actually freakish if you line him up with my dad's side of the family. The next tallest male sibling I have is 5'7". So what? And then Little Gee. . . we have sickeningly high metabolisms in my family (up until your 20's then we slowly get fatter and fatter. . .).

Well, as heart breaking as that news is to me, I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. Ok, boys, every meal and snack you have will contain so many calories your body wont know what to do with them! No more cereal for breakfast until you've finished off at least one egg nut-buttered toast (did I mention that the two easiest and cheapest forms of calories are out of the question: pb allergies and lactose intolerance, you can just kiss my big fat butt!). Cereal and full fat yogurt for morning snacks, high calorie lunches. Probably a few high calorie snacks in the afternoon and the most fattening dinners ever. OH, and now we have an excuse to eat ice cream before bed every night. There goes my diet, huh? Oh well. I hate caring about my weight anyway.

I would like to mention that my blog is moving to Sara's Sleepy Sheep, as the email attached to this blog is no longer usable for me. I'll make the transition this week, posting the same posts on both blogs for awhile and then next week only go to the above mentioned blog. If I'm going to change it, I might as well do it now, while my dedicated followers are somewhat sparse.

Thank you Sara

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Cost of Diapering: Disposables

*I'd like to start by apologising for the coloring of my text here. I had tried to simply highlight subtitles using colored text and for some reason, half of everything is red, and I cna't change it back:(


Disposables have some pros and cons, just like any other system. I have used them, I have brands I like and brands that you'd have to point a gun at my family for me to force myself to use. In fact there is a brand, that shall remain un-named that I would rather let me baby run around naked all day than put on him. Simply because they leak like nothing I've ever seen before. I actually have less messes to clean up and less laundry when I let my kid do his business on the floor (because it doesn't get all squished out the back and legs of a diaper before getting all over his clothing and whatever he's sitting on or in when he's wearing it!). However a brand I do like is Parent's Choice. For my math I will be using this brand.

Lets set some ground rules for math. I will assume you use 10 diapers a day, every day for three years. I will assume you either wash your cloth diapers or dispose of your used disposables every two days, as I do. I will assume you use only 5 wipes a day, rather than taking advantage of a convenience and using them to wash hands, faces, runny noses, dirty high chair trays etc. After all, we're calculating the cost of diapering, not cleaning. Just keep in mind that if you use your wipes for other things simply because they are available then you are adding the cost to diapering your child. I will assume that like me, you enjoy saving money and buy the best quality at the lowest price. These rules will apply to each part in this series.

The Math:

10 Parents Choice diapers per day (using size 3 96 pack for $13.97)
Cost of each: ------------------ $0.15
Daily Cost: ------------------ $1.50
Weekly Cost: ------------------ $10.50
Monthly Cost: ------------------ $42
Yearly Cost: ------------------ $504
After 3 years, you've spent:
---- $1,512

The Wipes:

5 Parents Choice Wipes per day (using the 528 pack, regular wipes for $8.97)
Cost of each: ---------- $0.02
Daily Cost: ---------- $0.10
Weekly Cost: ---------- $0.70
Monthly Cost:---------- $2.80
Yearly Cost: ---------- $33.60
3 Years: ---------- $100.80

Diaper Pail and Liners:

Cheap $15 pail ----------- $15
Can Liners (40 per box @ $7
Cost of Each: ----------- $0.18
Weekly Cost: ----------- $o.54 (assuming you take the diapers out 3 x a week)
Monthly: ----------- $2.16
Yearly: ----------- $25.92
3 Years: ----------- $77.76

A few things we will not be adding into our cost is diaper cream (you'll likely have to buy that no matter what you use, and cloth friendly creams are not significantly higher priced) deodorizers as that is a personal choice. I don't feel the need to use them when we use cloth, but I can't stand the smell of a used disposable (some how it just smells like urine soaked chemicals to me and makes me feel ill). I also assumed you chose to purchase a very inexpensive trash can rather than putting $25 + into a pail that you had to purchase special liners for and deodorizing discs. After all this is a Frugal Friday. Costly Refills are not frugal.

Lets add up all the totals here:

Diapers: ---------- $1,512.00
Wipes: ---------- $0,100.80
Trash Can: ---------- $0,015.00
Trash Bags: ---------- $0,077.76

Grand Total for 3 yrs: $1,705.56

Just for Kicks here's the total for the Wipes, Pail, and liners so you can compare it to the cost of the reusable options:

Grand total for 3 yrs: $193.56

In Summary I"d like to remind you of a few things. I have used the cheapest option of disposables (which happen to leak the least in my experience, and be my preferred choice). I've cut some corners by calculating the use of a regular garbage pail. I have not included coupons (in my experience, coupons tend to make name brand items either more $$ or the same price as the store brand). With some excellent coupon skills you may be able to do disposables for much cheaper. If that's the case, kudos to you and let us know how in the comment section!

Be sure to check out next weeks Frugal Friday on how to eliminate the recurring cost of disposable accessories that are required in diapering.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well, I Was Busy. . . .

I was supposed to post my progress pictures yesterday. . . and I didn't. I wasn't cheating, I promise. I wound up spending the morning in the doctors office on a wild goose chase. Anyway, here are the Zone 1 pictures I promised!
My front porch ;) You can see it is much less cluttered! It isn't 'clean' or 'company ready' but it is less than a minute away from that! I decided to keep a few toys on the porch for those days when it's just me and my own boys instead of 5 other wild children in the mix. Dizzy can play with his car rug (which I will wash monthy, as it will be exposed to the elements, and put away during the winter months) and hotwheels here!

This also turned out to be a nice place to park the gigantic dump truck Dizzy received from a well meaning Papa. It's just too big to fit in our house. If I keep it on the porch it's easy to bring inside so it doesn't get too wet and not make it's loud sounds anymore. It is running low on batteries though, a rare commodity in our house.

You may notice there are no entry way and dining room pictures. That would be, because, um. . . . well...... I just never even got around to it. Oops.

Now we're in zone 2, the Kitchen. It's always a much needed area to be cleaned in our house! Happy Flying!
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope each and every one of you either had a great Mothers day or told your mom too ;) It's so important to have a great relationship with your mom. I know for some it can be hard, in certain cases it may even be impossible. Thankfully I'm not in that situation.

My mom has always been there for me. She has been a wonderful role model and a strong woman. While not perfect she is what I needed in every way! And God knew it, that's why He gave her to me instead of some other little girl:) I couldn't have asked for a better mother, ever.

She has taught me the virtue of having a still quiet spirit (Be still and know that I am God), she has taught me that being a Biblically submissive wife (aka NOT A DOORMAT, just a Biblical wife) is possible in this 'Stand up for yourself! Put your stupid oaf of a husband in his place! You're the higher gender!" culture. She taught me it's ok to not stand up for yourself every single time.

Enough emotional drama: I love my mom!

Happy Mothers day!