Cloth Diapers and the Diaper Gap

When I talk to people about the diaper gap, so basically anyone who makes eye contact with me, the conversation naturally turns to cloth diapering. I agree – cloth diapering is a great alternative, but in practice it isn’t an option for those struggling to supply diapers. Here’s why:

  • They require an initial investment. I have always used disposables, so I did some searching and found out that Trent Hamm at the Simple Dollar did the math for me by enlisting Carrie from the Dangerous Crayon. Here’s her results:

Year 1, Cloth – $930.08
Year 1, Disposables – $858.83

Year 2, Cloth – $1154.63
Year 2, Disposables – $1354.25

  • Most daycare centers don’t allow cloth diapers. Which makes total sense.
  • Not everyone has access to a washer/dryer and some laundromats don’t allow washing cloth diapers in their machines for sanitary reasons. Also, while you sit at the laundromat there is a child to think about – entertain them or find a sitter.
  • There’s the time factor – regardless of income or situation, time is a critical consideration for any parent. Some parents are working multiple jobs, or have to travel to launder the diapers and there often just isn’t enough time.

There are quite a few cloth diaper banks based on my quick Google search, but right now the practical solution is to help provide diapers to low income families to quickly solve their immediate need. To help out, visit my Go Fund Me page or the 12 4 1 Diaper Drive page.

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Saint Martin’s Ministries

Last year I was humbled to deliver 8100 diapers (and thousands of wipes) to St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely Maryland. Those diapers went to Saint Martin’s House,  a transitional residence where homeless women and children can work towards self-sufficiency in a safe and stable environment.

St. Martin’s house opened 17 years ago  and has been home to more than 600 women and children. The average cost of housing residents in a one-year period is $55,000 and while they are staying there, they learn parenting, budgeting, and household management skills. They are also offered counseling services and assistance preparing for their  GED, enroll in college courses, and find employment and permanent housing.

I am happy to be able to serve such a vital organization where I grew up. This year we are going for 10,000 diapers and partnering with Choptank Transport. Find out more here, or to donate money visit my Go Fund Me page.

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First 5K

Running? There is nowhere I need to be that quickly.

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If I am running, you better run too because something is chasing me.

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I am too overweight to run.

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I’ll run, run to Dunkin Donuts real quick in my car.

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What do you THINK about when you run? It seems so boring.

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“Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive … “

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You never know when you might want to try something that at one time seemed so ridiculous. Thanks for hosting my first virtual 5K Fit, Fab and Lean!

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Ahoy Matey!

Mike’s been saying ‘ho, ho, ho’ lately and sometimes it’s appropriate. Most the time he is pointing to a garden gnome or anything that has red or white stripes. That makes sense – Santa Clause. But recently he is saying ‘ho, ho, ho’ at the beach which had S. and I puzzled. UNTIL he brought us a bag of Pirate’s Booty Puffs saying ‘ho, ho, ho’.

*facepalm*

Mike likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He isn’t saying ‘ho, ho, ho’. He is saying ‘yo, ho, ho’! You know. Like a pirate. Duh.

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Happy 2nd Birthday Mike!

My sweet Bug –

I’m sitting at my desk on this rainy day looking at your pictures on my desk from the last month or so – you watching the snow while Charlie watches your cracker, you wearing your White Rabbit costume at Miranda’s birthday party and you just being you at the BWI Airplane park. Looking at these photos reminds me of a few lyrics from Marcus Foster’s song ‘You My Love’:

It’s true, my love, so kind are your eyes,
I see them in the darkest skies.
If it’s true, my love, I’ve got to see the way
I’ll love you till my dying day.

I can’t help but feel a little bittersweet about your 2nd birthday tomorrow. I know Daddy feels the same. We miss have a little baby to snuggle, but now we have a big boy to snuggle! And you are the snuggliest. You love to bury yourself between Daddy and me in the bed and pull up the covers demanding ‘sea-goo’ time. Sometimes you even grab our arm and drape it over you. If you catch Daddy and I hugging, you run right up and want in on that action. You are truly our little love bug.

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This has been an exciting year for you! Right before your first birthday last year we were watching and waiting for you to take your first steps unassisted. Now you are climbing on chairs, maneuvering up stairs and fearlessly walking back down. I won’t even mention chasing you as you squeal with glee.

You’ve gone through some other changes as well. We made the big move from Centreville, Virginia to Crofton, Maryland in January for a variety of reasons and none that we regret. The main reason was to be closer to family and this has proven to be so beneficial. Your Bubbe, Grandma and Grandpa have visited often and we have seen Mollie a lot. Daddy and I are thrilled you will be growing up closer to the family that is so important to us.

With the move came a new daycare. It was obvious by day 2 that I worried myself sick about nothing. You have flourished there, learning new things and making friends. You give me a hug, go to Miss Rachel and immediately you are waving, saying ‘au revoir’ and blowing kisses. If you do cry it is once in a blue moon and probably only for my benefit.

Oh my love, you do have your moments like we all do. You have mastered the ‘lay down on the floor and fake cry’ quite well, but it never lasts long and you are always quick to come find us so we can move on with our day. You can’t keep up the grumpiness for long, I don’t think it’s in your nature!

Mikey, as you turn two my biggest wish for you is to know how much you are cherished and adored. You are growing into quite a kind, easy going, and hilarious kid.  These are all things your Daddy and I dreamed about while watching you roll around in my tummy.

I’ll eat you up I love you so.

Momma, xoxo

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Sea-Goo

My Sweet Boy –

Yes, I have neglected to write you a letter the past few months. However, your birthday is right around the corner so I have a whole year to review. But I wanted to capture yesterday and your need to sea-goo (snuggle).

Yesterday was the day that Mommas (and Daddys!) live for. From the minute you woke up to the minute you got in your crib you just wanted to be close to someone. And guess what? I was able to give you that.

When you try to say ‘snuggle’, it comes out as ‘sea-goo’ and usually involves a blanket. Yesterday when everyone got home, you were happily playing with your car in the living room while I watched from the futon. I stood up to make dinner and you said ‘sea-goo’ and pointed to the futon. When I didn’t comply right away, I realized that this wasn’t a request — it was a demand. Daddy happily took over dinner so I could lay on the futon while you played next to me.

Our after bath routine is pretty standard and includs snuggling between Daddy and me while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You were very content with us all under the covers. And when bedtime came, you picked out a book (the first time in months you showed an interest in reading) and hopped right in my lap and sat through the whole story.

Sweetie, sometimes we all need to sea-goo and I hope, even as a big boy, you always feel like Daddy or I will sea-goo with you when you need it. Sometimes I even sea-goo with Grandma! You and I both got what we needed yesterday and that makes me a happy Momma.

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I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo

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Sand is So Last Year

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, mainly because my blog is going through a branding upgrade thanks to a fabulous friend of mine! Once that is in place, I will be back to my regular posting and updates. HOWEVER, it has been gorgeous out and since everyone is working on their backyards, I wanted to share Mike’s Rock Box.

I found this idea when I suggested getting Mike a sandbox. S. couldn’t stand the thought of sand EVERYWHERE and it didn’t take much convincing for me to agree. I cruised alternatives and Mike’s Rock Box was born! A few people asked how I made it and guys? It’s stupid simple.

Here’s what you need:

  • A hard plastic pool
  • pea gravel (I used 2 bags)
  • A drill
  • Toys

Use the drill to pop a few small holes in the bottom so when it rain, it will drain and not give you a pool with rocks (though that might be fun too). Toss the rocks in the pool with a few toys and let your little construction worker at it!

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Mollie Claire Turns 2!

Mols –

I can’t even believe you are turning 2. I remember writing you your 1st birthday letter and here I am reflecting on yet another year with you my sweet niece. Honestly, not much has changed. You are still just as beautiful, sweet and mischievous as you were LAST year. Perhaps this year you just have more hair.

I have so many favorite memories of you from this year I can’t pick just one. Most of them involve your milestones and how you interact with Mike. You are so kind with him and we can tell he is watching you to see how things are done.

One time you had me giggling was at your Daddy’s birthday you took your plate into the kitchen in hopes of a piece of cake only to come back into the room VERY upset your request was denied. A kid after my own heart!

I love you Mols, have a happy happy second birthday.

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Well Hello Fresh!

I’ve seen so much hype around subscription boxes lately, I even tried RocksBox a few months ago and loved getting mail. So when my Momma and Sister-in-Law started raving about HelloFresh, I was cautiously interested. Here’s how it works:

Each week I log into my account and chose 3 meals out of the 5 they are offering. All the ingredients are surprisingly fresh as the name would lead you to believe. To be honest, the meals are not what I would normally pick if I was looking through a cookbook, but that’s half the fun. Did you know I like Tilapia? Me neither!  It also guarantees that my family is eating 3 healthy meals a week – which as a family with working parents is a huge win.

On Friday, when I chose my meals to be delivered, I come home to a well packed box with 3 bags. Each bag contains the measured ingredients  for each meal and a recipe card with pictures and detailed instructions. When I am ready to make a meal, I just pull out the recipe and bag and get started!

Each dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes and is more than enough for 2 people, and you can upgrade to 4 people if your family is bigger or you are having guests. Meat-free house? No biggie! They have veggie boxes too. The food is also kid friendly and Mikey is at the perfect age to instill a love of vegetables.

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It’s really nice to know that I have everything I need to make a meal. While I do my best meal planning and shopping, it was inevitable that I would go to make chicken for dinner and be out of chicken. Everything I need is right there from HelloFresh (but stock up on butter, oil and oddball utensils like a garlic press and zester). Here’s some of the meals we’ve had:

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Tangy Balsamic Potato Salad
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Mustard-Butter Bean Salad
Roasted Pork Chops with Onion Gravy & Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Did I mention that each week is $69 and you are not locked in? Each week I am able to see what the menu is either opt in or opt out. I love not committing based on our tastes, schedule and budget.

The only downside is you still actually have to make the meal. But if you HAVE to make dinner (and Child Protective Services likes to know kids are eating), HelloFresh is the easiest and healthiest option. Want to try HelloFresh? Use this link to get $40 off your first box. I bet you couldn’t buy ingredients for 3 fresh, healthy meals for $29.

I signed up and after my first week, I told HelloFresh I was going to do a review, so they gave me a free week to try. They can’t afford to pay me for a good review, so I gave them an honest one.

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Mike: February 2015

My Mike-a-roni:

As I am typing this my head is singing Do You Want to Build a Snowman from your current obsession, Frozen. You randomly said to Daddy a few weeks ago ‘let it go’ (or so it seemed) so I started playing the song from Frozen. Apparently you have seen the movie before and now it is all you want to do. You call it ‘Go’. It’s pretty cute, but has caused some meltdowns. I am sure in March I will be so sick of the songs I will want to scream, but for now I love how your face lights up and you gasp when the movie comes on. It’s worth it kid.

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It’s been a pretty quiet month, we’ve just focused on getting settled in Maryland and the weather was no so pleasant. We are eagerly awaiting spring for when we can venture outside and check out the playgrounds.

You’ve been quite the happy helper these days! You love your ‘boom’ (broom) and walk around with it sweeping invisible (or not so invisible) dirt. You help us throw away trash, empty the dishwasher and the dryer. I love seeing you follow directions! I know it won’t last, but for now, we are using it to our advantage.

You’ve taken a liking the Buddha. I happened to have a few small statues from my trips to China because Grandpa likes the Laughing Buddha and you point and say ‘boo-doe’. You even take the big one and rub his belly! It’s so cute to see you walking around carrying your Boo-Doe statues.

You are becoming such a little boy my love. Daddy and I are so enjoying seeing things through your eyes. Everyday is literally like Christmas morning – what excitement will happen?

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo

 

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