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About Me

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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: http://www.sarassleepysheep.blogspot.com

Thank you for continuing to follow me there!

Sara

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 http://sarassleepysheep.blogspot.com 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 http://sarassleepysheep.blogspot.com 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


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!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Intro to the Cost of Diapering Series

Welcome to my first Frugal Friday! Part of my mission in business is to provide you an affordable way to raise your kids. As a maker of lovely woolies, my mission statement for The Sleepy Sheep is: Providing you a way to affordably diaper your baby in comfort and style! And I mean it! That's why my prices are low and my items are cute ;) In real life though, I want you to be able to provide the best for your family while staying afloat financially. So I will do my best at providing you the information to do that here on Frugal Fridays. What's first? Well, read on my friend.

I have been thinking about the cost of diapering over the last several months. There is more than a financial cost, regardless of the system you use to diaper your child. With disposables you have to make sure you always have them on hand, if you run out (with as spacey as I am, that would happen at least once a month) you have to make a special trip to the store. You have to take the time do the fancy pail thing (I found the diaper genie to be a little complicated and hard to deal with working in day cares and helping friends out). With cloth you have to make sure you always have a few clean ones on hand (so pretty much the same as making sure you're always stocked up on 'sposies) and do the laundry. It really doesn't take any more time or effort to actually change a baby depending on what style of cloth you use.

** I would like to point out that I am not a 'sposie basher as some die hard cloth users are. I may want to cloth diaper my babies for various reasons, but there are various reasons to use disposables as well. It is a valid system, regardless of cost, waste and what they're made of. I have used sposies on my children, and while I cringe every time I put one on them, I do not have anything against them or die hard sposie users. Thank you **

Here is a general outline that may change at my choosing for various reasons.
  1. Disposables since it is the most widely used system
  2. Various re-usable accessories needed for cloth diapers, including cloth wipes, wet bags (in place of garbage bags or pails used for sposies) wipe solution etc. This will set the stage and numbers to add to each consecutive cloth diapering system. I will also include an optional price of using cloth training pants instead of just going strait to underwear.
  3. All in Ones and All in Twos because they are the most expensive and most similar to sposie use. They are also seen as the easiest form of cloth by many.
  4. Pocket Diapers because they are the next most expensive and similar to sposies as well
  5. Covers. This will set the stage for the various systems requiring an absorbent cloth diaper and a waterproof cover. This will include PUL covers, Vinyl pants, and of course, all things wool ;)
  6. Fitteds are the most expensive absorbent, cover-less diaper.
  7. Prefolds are next in line, being a mainstream 'cheap' option for cloth diapering
  8. Flats, also the least expensive but less used than prefolds. Flats are also considered to be too complicated for most.
  9. Making your own diapers and or covers
  10. The cost of Laundering diapers. This will be complicated to do and will require some real math and experimenting. In fact it may become a mini series within this larger series. What I have planned is to test drive using disposables for a month and keep tabs on our water bill. This will even require me to 'log' water usage that is variable or out of the ordinary. Then I will do the same using cloth, again logging out of the ordinary water usage and things that vary like how much we water the yard and garden. This may not even work out, but if I decide to start I will blog on it week by week so you can see my progress and that I am doing it. This way if the cost of laundering actually makes the cost of using cloth more than the cost of using disposables I can't back out and not share ;) Hopefully that will ensure skeptical readers that I am being honest. I"ll even copy my water bill and post it here, after blurring some personal information.
  11. A summary, giving you a short and sweet, to the point comparison from the various diapering systems.
At the beginning of each post I will give a short summary of the system, giving you any pertinent information. I will also give you my opinions on the various systems of diapering.

If you have any suggestions, see anything I"m missing or otherwise have some thing to add, please do!! You might notice, if you're keen on such things, that I have not touched on EC or Elimination Communication. At this point, I don't plan to include that in this series. I may post a separate blog on EC in the future, but at this point I am pretty clueless. If you EC your child(ren) and would like to be a guest blogger, please email me at thesleepysheep [dot] reckling [at] gmail [dot] com.

Check out this awesome blog post on the same subject as my series ;)

http://diaperfluff.blogspot.com/2011/05/1614483-vs-138505.html?spref=tw

Happy Frugal Friday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Woolie Giveaway!

Two Woolies to Giveaway!!! They are free for shipping. While they will function as woolies they are not really up to my standards and were just experiments on developing patterns. I just can't let perfectly good wool go to waste!
This first set is a 100% Lambswool pair of XL longies. They will fit very generously, and have snaps along the waist to adjust the waistline. This was really an attempt to 'fix' the fact that they didn't have a ton of stretch in the waistline. As I was thinking of how to 'fix' them, I started thinking how awesome it would be to have adjustable waistlines! While the Adjustable waistline idea is still on the agenda, this pair is not what you can expect from me on a finished pair. Once you receive them you can do anything you desire with them, donate them, use them, fix them, turn them into something else. . . you name it!

Here is an upclose picture of the front waist line. It's hard to see, but the pants are olive green, with a gray stripe centered between two navy stripes. The snaps are gray and the adjusting bands are navy.

Here is the back.

This skirt is a shaggy 70% wool. It has buttons down the middle. When putting button-clothes on your young children you should always concider them a risk. Don't leave them unattended or let them wear them to bed. Always double check the buttons to make sure they are not coming loose.

This skirt has elastic in the waist. The seaming is not perfect and is off centered. The waist goes from an unstretched 16" to a fully stretched (and probably snug) 24"
It comes with a matching, separate soaker. The leg cuffs match the skirt, and a coordinating lambswool green sweater was used for the body. THis also stretches from 16"-24" but has no elastic.


Ok, so here's the rules. If you want it, you must 'like' The Sleepy Sheep on Facebook as well as follow me publicly on my blog. Leave a comment here stating that, leaving your facebook title/name along with which soaker you'd like, the boyish longies or the skirtie. Also post on The Sleepy Sheep facebook wall what you'd like to see from The Sleepy Sheep. This could be anything from products to services, anything really!. The first person to complete both wins the one of their choice. Both will be given away today, so if the skirtie has been won the longies may still be up for grabs.

I do moderate comments so I will be checking as often as I possibly can, considering I have two little boys underfoot all day (plus 5 more after school!). If you are in the Lincoln, NE area I will be making deliveries shortly and you can save yourself the shipping by arranging that with me:) Good luck!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zone 1

Well, this post is likely to be embarrasing for me. I believe we are in zone 1, I know it's the front porch, entrance way and dining room. I just can't remember which zone that would be. Anyway, I"ve taken pictures of these areas as they were yesterday morning when I got up. I have since worked on the front porch and The Hubs is majorly impressed. I"ll be posting those pictures next week to hold myself accountable to my few loyal readers.
This of course is the front porch. There's so much furniture on it at this point that it's really cluttered and unusable. One of those bags is dontations and one is for the boys as they get older. The excersaucer stays outside for now. Once Baby Gee gets a bit bigger and more capapble of moving around w/out my having to be overly concerned then it will get put in storage for another baby (hopefully!).

This is our 'entry way'. Really it's just the front door that opens up into the frontroom. From the door you can see this part of the house plus the dining room. It is very cluttered.

In the entry way is my chair. My spot. The one that I don't have to share with the kiddos unless I want to snuggle them to sleep. The one that I like to sit and read magazines or knit sweaters in. What? How can I sit in it? There's no room for my butt? Yeah. I know. It's been that way for about 3 months now. It'll get cleared out one day and piled up the very next. I don't even know why. It's my stuff, It's my fault. I"m the one cluttering up my favorite chair.


Here is the dining room. Starting at the front of the picture on the right is my moving work area. That is all my sweaters, materials and other Sleepy Sheep things. I have to pack it up and put it away every time I get it out. That alone takes an hour to get it out and pack it up when I"m done. Ugh. In the far right corner is the kids art area. It's crowded and over stocked. In the far left is the dining room table that serves as storage, dining when we have company (The Hubs doesn't like to eat at the table. I wish we did more family dining) and my work space. The chair w/ the pink sweatshirt on it is my desk chair. My desk is the only thing I can be semi-proud of right now. It's not so cluttered. Ok, so not entirely cluttered. I have neat stacks of things going on. But it's all good ;) I have room to set my cup of coffee down.

Well, like I said, my front porch is amazing compared to before. Today I will work on my entry way (which considering it's in the front room and that was last week's zone it should be freaking spotless. . .) after getting all my custom orders that have been on hold due to a thread shortage done. Then I'll likely spend the other three days of this week working on the dining room.

For more info on Flying with The Fly Lady be sure to see her website www.flylady.net ;) Happy flying!
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Welcome to my first Mommy Monday! Here is our family trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha!


Here is Baby Gee haning out in the Moby ;) I took the pic myself. . . kind of an acrobatic feat!

Here's me and my boys!!

What a lovely job of posing for the camara. I"m half convinced he's stuffed!



My cuties ;)

Baby Gee loves watching the Giraffs!




While he slept through the obnoxiously loud train ride. . . .
Poor Dizzy had to have his ears covered!

Happy Family!

Baby Gee's favorite exhibit! Of course Dizzy was afraid of the goats too. . .

He loved the dragon on the merry go round!

Here he is 10 minutes before he fell alseep during the IMAX showing of Alaska, Spirit of the Wild!
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Check out this awesome Giveaway!

Circle ME and Life With My Littles are teaming up together to sponser a giveaway for a $25 gift certificate! As you all know my favorite store happens to be Circle ME because of their awesome customer service and the dedication to you and your family. It helps that they carry a lot of my favorite items too of course!

The blog post on Life With My Littles is a review on an Aristocrats wool cover. I've never actually used an Aristocrats cover so I can't really tell you any of my experiences. However I can say that the untreated wool used in Aristocrats covers is amazingly soft.

Join the giveaway, have some fun and good luck!

I almost forgot to tell you! There's plenty of time to enter the giveaway!! It ends on May 8th at midnight!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keeping the Daily Routines

Soon we will be entering a new month. In May Flylady's habit of the month is moving. I have to be honest with myself. . . other than running around with Baby Gee and Dizzy I don't have time to move. Unless somebody else takes care of the boys for me, that is, and for free (yeah, right!). So this month I am making my own 'habit of the month' instead of following Flylady's. I will be drinking more water and work on building my daily routines.

Let's start with the water. How many glasses of water would you guess I consume a day? Well, unless you count coffee, hot tea or sweet tea (which are all made with water!!). . . then the answer is 0. Yes, a big, fat, unhealthy 0. Rarely do I drink a glass of water unless I'm dining out or staring at health magazines while waiting in line at the grocery store. So on Saturday I purchased a gallon jug, sliced up an orange and filled it with drinking water. It's pretty good.

Then, because I"m really not getting enough done around the house on a regular basis, I drew up some daily routines. I made one up for Morning, Afternoon and Evening. I did this last week with moderate success. However, when I do all the routines it really makes a difference in the house. Here are the routines:

Morning!!

1. get up, straighten bed Su M Tu W Th F Sa

2. start coffee & bottle Su M Tu W Th F Sa

3. get dressed to shoes Su M Tu W Th F Sa

4. read Bible Su M Tu W Th F Sa

5. reboot laundry Su M Tu W Th F Sa

6. online time Su M Tu W Th F Sa

7. 15 minutes in the zone Su M Tu W Th F Sa

Afternoon!!

1. Clean up lunch Su M Tu W Th F Sa

2. 5m room rescue's: 3 Su M Tu W Th F Sa

3. Dizzy cleans up boys' room Su M Tu W Th F Sa

4. Set out snack Su M Tu W Th F Sa

5. reboot laundry Su M Tu W Th F Sa

Bedtime!!

1. Help children clean up Su M Tu W Th F Sa

2. clean up dinner Su M Tu W Th F Sa

3. Plan meals & day

4. reboot and put away Su M Tu W Th F Sa

any laundry

5. set out clothes Su M Tu W Th F Sa

6. dishes/shine sink Su M Tu W Th F Sa

7. declutter 15 minutes Su M Tu W Th F Sa

Just so you know, that looks much nicer on my publication document saved on the computer. It's nice and bright colors, because they make me happy. I didn't include any cute cheerful images, because that just felt cluttered to me. I added days of the week so that I would have something to cross off, and keep tabs on my progress. I printed off 5 sheets and hung them on the fridge. I think three days last week I did really well. The other days. . . Well, not so much.

I really put a focus on what would help the most. I wanted to make the biggest difference with the least amount of work. There is room for tweaking. . . there always will be! Right now you see three times I reboot the laundry. That's because I"m so far behind. . . oh, wait! Not so far anymore! Because I had it as part of my daily routines I did more laundry last week and I'm closer to the top of Mount St Laundry! You'll notice there are things on there that shouldn't need to be listed. Well, it gives me success!! I can cross it off! I put a lot of those on in the morning because I want an encouraging start to my day. I"m going to have to weed through my evening routine and make it a little more easy to succeed at. By the time The Hubs shows up, I"m exhausted and just finishing dinner or thinking about bathing children can send me over edge. I'm not really sure what I want to do about that. I do try and get as much as I can of my evening routine done as early as I can.

You'll notice that in the afternoon the 3yr old cleans his room. That's his toys, his mess, his job. Not anyone else's. My job is to make sure he does it. I don't care if it's perfect (remember housework done improperly still blesses your home!) or spotless. This is just day to day no more than 20 minutes at a time. I also help the children clean up at bedtime. Instead of expecting them to do it on their own, because that would mean Dizzy is cleaning up his and Baby Gee's mess, and that's not fair, I help them out. I also include Dizzy in the room rescues and other chores. If I don't teach him to clean up, I will always be cleaning up after him. I don't even clean up after myself enough to worry about other peoples messes!! So parents: Please for your children's sake, make them pick up their own messes and help out a reasonable amount! You can start this as early as they figure out the concept of 'pick it up' and 'put it in'. That's how I taught Dizzy!

Happy Flying!

I would like to thank a special Flybaby for inspiring this post! Check out her post on making your morning routine enjoyable!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Wash your Woolies ;)

Well, I've been meaning to post this for awhile now, and thought this the perfect time since I've been asked to create a blog to link to Circle ME's official blog: mynaturalfamily!

First lets look at the reasons you need to wash your wool.
  1. It's brand new and needs lanolized
  2. There is visible biological matter on it (ok, we're all sensible people. . . that would be POOP!)
  3. They're dirty with plain old dirt!
  4. The completely dry woolie smells like urine.
  5. It's been a month or more since you last washed or it just needs to be relanolized.
Ok, so today I am assuming that you need to lanolize as well as wash your woolie, and that you have not gone out and bought the miracle wool wash from CJ's All Natural (available at Circle ME in Lincoln NE). So this means, what I"m showing you is the most complicated it ever has to get. Funny thing is that it's really quite simple!!

Step 1: Strip the wool from your adorable baby butt!! Then take a picture because they are just that cute!
Step 2: Turn on the water to boil (or just microwave it!) I do double duty with this and get the water for my french press done at the same time! Skip this step if using wool wash AND not lanolizing!
Step 3: Put soap and Lanolin in heat safe container I use Lansinoh Lanolin and a natural fiber wash found in a local yarn store. Baby shampoo works wonderful! Notice the amount of Lanolin I"m using. It's a lot. That's how much I use to lanolize a woolie for the first time ever. You can use less for future lanolizing of the same woolie. If you're just washing without a lanolin rich wool wash or bar, then please use a pea sized amount. Skip this step if you're using a wool wash!! If you're lanolizing, you should still do this, but you can use less lanolin and wool wash if you'd like.
Step 4: Mix in hot water until milky white.
Step 5: Fill a clean sink or basin with water that is LUKEWARM or ROOM TEMP. It should not be hot or cold!!Step 6: Add wool wash or solution to water and mix

Step 7: Pull woolie inside out, place in water crotch first (so you get the most lanolin where it's needed!) then gently squeeze a few times to help it absorb as much water as possible. Let it soak for 1/2 an hour minimum. If the woolie needs to be lanolized as well as washed soak it overnight!! If there are any stains, gentle scrubbing works wonders here!
Step 8: Drain water. VERY gently squeeze extra water out.
Step 9: To speed up the drying process, roll each woolie in a dry prefold (or a towel) and press gently. Repeat with a dry prefold/towel. Once the woolie is mostly dry you have a few different options. 1) Lay flat (do not hang!!) to dry in a well ventilated area ~I do this by laying it over a bucket in front of the cool air vent or 2) before laying flat to dry, place woolies in the washing machine and use the spin cycle. I do this twice before laying flat to dry!You can also do this to your favorite hand wash wool socks for the most awesome moisturizing treatment ever. . . in fact, I think I"m going to make myself some socks and gloves to do this with!! For spot treatments between washings try Eucalan wipes. For boosting your lanolin between washings try a wool revitalizing spray, like the one CJ's All Natural makes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Tuesday Again!

So it's Tuesday again. Today I"m just going to give you some of my flying progress. The month of April is so crazily busy. . . so I'm still working on just maintaining flight. I haven't had a shiny sink every night before bed, and I've gone to bed with dirty dishes even. However, I"ve been dressed to the shoes before 9am almost every single day since March 1st, and my bed has been made every day in April other than this weekend! I'm thinking that regardless of how busy I am this week I need to get back in the habit of shining my sink every day!!

The zone this week is the main bath and laundry room. Thankfully our laundry room is pretty neat (thanks to The Hubs!) and the bathroom is fairly decent. The only thing I really need to focus on for either of those is wiping down surfaces and scrubbing the toilet/shower/tub. I"m still not going to be working on my missions for the zones just yet. I think in May, once the zones start over with zone one, I"ll do the actual zone work that's listed, such as decluttering bit by bit and detail cleaning. If I do that for a month, some of the zones will be ready for the daily missions by June ;)

Happy Flying!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

REdiaper Sale and upcoming events!


I had such a great time at Circle Me last Saturday! Of course it took the rest of the weekend to recover, and Monday I was in no condition to blog (you don't want to know what Dizzy did to my freshly clean and folded laundry ~note to self: always put it away the minute you're done folding it!!!). But today, I am!! And it's Woolie Wednesday of course!!

The morning started off nicely with my parents showing up with fresh Starbucks and the biggest apple fritter on the face of the planet. I was too embarrassed to eat it, because it was THAT big, but it made a great reward for a long month of working on soakers. I met so many nice people who really put a lot of thought and care into what they want touching babies skin! And I thank those that purchased from my booth and look forward to seeing pictures of their little ones sporting their new fluff! There were also some custom orders placed. . . and let me tell you, it is so much more fun looking for sweaters for a specific baby!! I didn't walk away a millionaire by any means but I did get a good start!

Since then I've been real busy getting custom orders ready. One will surely inspire a new product line for The Sleepy Sheep and I look forward to launching that soon! Many of us don't think twice about putting cloth on our babies bums. . . but what if the tables were turned? I plan on writing a post on some woolie options for adults next week!!

Due to some awesome networking going on I have become involved in a giveaway towards the end of April with Brynns Boutique!! I can't wait for that one!! This is going to be the month of giveaways as I plan on donating some to Circle Me for their Earth Day event and the prizes they will be handing out. There are other exciting giveaways coming up soon as well!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Check Out My flying!

Ooops!! I had to edit to add the pictures (a second time!!!) Hopefully they're really there now!


As soon as I got out of bed, I got Gee up and gave him a bottle, and let him play on our bed while I got dressed. . . to the shoes even. Before leaving the room I made the bed. That's the habit of the month people. Just do it.

I also made Dizzy's bed. As you can see, I also cleaned his room up last night. We'll work harder on that later, making it organized as well as clean.
Ok, so there's stuff on the counters. . . but the sink is shiny. . . and that stuff isn't dirty dishes!
Well. . . . except for the two bottles and lid I found this morning. Thankfully those bottles are only for water now!

See how there's no dirty pots and pans hanging out on the stove top? I did that. All of that!! If I can do it. . . so can you ;)

Happy Flying!

Tomorrow: Be sure to check out my post on how the sale went yesterday!