Friday, August 29, 2008

Adventures in Eco Friendly diapering, part 2

Fuzzi Bunz

bumGenius 3.0

At the end of part 1 of my adventure I left off with a comment about how much I love cloth diapering, so here is part 2:

After doing a lot of research I decided to try two brands of cloth diapers: fuzzi bunz pocket diapers and bumGenius 3.0 one-size cloth diapers. If you are unsure what these terms mean here are some definitions courtesy of

Pocket diaper: "A pocket diaper is usually made of two layers of fabric sewn together to form a pocket for an absorbent insert. The entire diaper fastens onto your child and does not require the additional use of a cloth diaper cover. Pocket Diaper Inserts can be made of microfiber terry, cotton terry, hemp Chinese Prefold Diapers or even a regular kitchen towel folded to size."
One-size diaper: "A one size diaper usually fits a child from birth up until about 30 or 35 pounds. This sizing is achieved by strategic placement of snaps on the front of the diaper. This allows for the front of the diaper to be folded over and for the closures to be snapped on top of each other. As the baby grows, several snap settings allow for waist and leg growth."

There are lots of different types of cloth diapers and it all depends on what you are most comfortable with. I wanted something that was easy, somewhat inexpensive and durable. I chose to use Fuzzi Bunz because my SIL uses them and I was able to find an amazing deal on them on craigslist for $7 each. Usually they go for $14-20 on Ebay, so this was not to be passed up. Fuzzi Bunz come in LOTS of different colors and patterns, which is one of the things that make cloth diapering lots of fun. The fleece lining inside the diaper is very soft and they are pretty easy to use. Now the cons: their insert is not as absorbent as I would like and we did have some leaks because of it; these diapers also come in different sizes, so they don't grow with your baby. The medium size lasts for most the time you have your baby in diapers however.

My favorite cloth diaper is the bumGenius 3.0. These are, in my opinion, the most similar to disposables and the easiest to use. They are also more economical as they will fit your baby from 7 to 35 lbs. These are trim diapers and they fit great! The Cottonbabies insert that comes with this also has the highest rating for insert absorbency. The downside to these diapers is that they only come in a few colors and the "velcro" tends to wear out quickly. Diapers that use snaps to fasten tend to be more durable and baby-proof. (edited 6/12/2009)

How much does this cost? To start, CD'ing parents say you need about 18-24 diapers. I bought 12 bumGenius ($203.40) and 4 Fuzzi Bunz ($28) and I do laundry every other day and haven't had any problems so far. I used a normal 13 gallon trash can with a lid for my diaper pail ($10) with a Whamies pail liner ($16). I also bought a wet bag for my diaper bag from a friend on Etsy ($9 w/shipping), but you technically can just use any old plastic bag. For the stink of the diaper pail, I bought Tea Tree oil ($10 for 1 fl. oz.) which I use 1 drop of per batch of diapers and this will last a LONG time and it works wonders. I wash my diapers using Purex Free & Clear detergent ($3 for 64 loads of CD's; by the way I use HALF the detergent to wash these puppies). Ok so the grand total comes to: $279.40 to get started. I will probably end up buying 6 more BG diapers because I like them so much, which is an extra $100, but I probably won't do that until Ravenna is a year old.

As for the total cost of CD'ing the has a great calculator to help you figure it out and compare to disposables. I will continue to keep posting on this adventure and please, feel free to ask any questions!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The loneliness of a new place

Now that the newness of Gillette has worn off (it really didn't take that long, unfortunately), I am beginning to feel very lonely. Andrew works a lot, which surprises me because I can't remember many of my teachers ever putting as much time and effort into their lesson plans, but I am glad that he cares so much about being a good teacher; Joshua has moved in with us but he is at school during the day which leaves me alone with Ravenna during the day. I love being at home but I still crave adult female interaction. My new ward is nice, but I haven't been able to make any friends yet, due in large part to my lack of a vehicle to drive me to activities during the day. To top it all off, I live in an unfinished apartment complex with no landscaping and the closest neighborhood is two+ miles away with no sidewalks to speak of.

All of these factors have combined to make me feel pretty sorry for myself to be here in Gillette. Despite the fact that I am grateful that Andrew has a job and I know that we are so blessed to be here, I miss my friends and I miss the familiarity and convenience of living in Provo. It is difficult to be in a place where, despite the vast amounts of money made because of the mines, the majority of people refuse to better their situations and instead squander their money on liquor, cigarettes and cheap thrills. You might be thinking, "welcome to the real world, Carrie," but I have honestly never lived in such a "trashy" place even compared to Southern California and po-dunk Virginia.

With all of that said, I am done venting. I was blog-hopping this morning and read a friend's blog all about her moving experience this past year. She moved from a small town to a big city and her attitude is very inspiring. She chooses to "bloom" instead of wither and I guess that is a decision we all have to make. The other night as we were on our balcony enjoying a sunset our upstairs neighbor came out on her balcony and lit-up and started cursing about how much she hated Gillette (I guess she was on her cell phone). At the time I thought, "oh great, another potentially great moment of my life ruined by Gillette, WY," but now I have a different thought about it: I can choose to be like her (sans the smoking and cussing, of course) or, I can try to bloom in the prairie desert that I now live. It isn't going to be easy, but I will try to do better.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ravenna goes swimming

Before we left Provo we decided to take Ravenna swimming at the Helaman Halls pool. Thanks to Grandma Hettinger for the cute swimming suit!

Check out that farmers tan on Andrew! It's a good thing we moved to Wyoming instead of Florida.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adventures in Eco-friendly Diapering, part 1

Did you know that it takes a disposable diaper 500 years to biodegrade? Did you know that disposable diapers add up to 3.5 million tons of waste on average per year according to EPA estimates? Well I didn't know that before I became pregnant and one of my friends, J, told me about her cloth diapering experience. My first thought, "ick." Seriously, who wants to clean up bodily fluids all the time? Ha! Then you become a mom and cleaning up bodily fluids becomes just a normal part of daily life. So, I pondered my friend's advice and did my research. My research turned up lots of eco-friendly options other than cloth diapering.

Because I was living in a place without a washer/dryer my first options appeared to be those that did not require washing diapers every day. First I started using regular disposables for those newborn poop 5 times an hour days. I used Pampers Swaddlers, which were not bad at all, but expensive and I didn't intend to use them long-term. After that I was given a gift of regular Pampers and HATED them. Ravenna had horrible diaper rash and they leaked all over the place. Also during this time I used Huggies which I liked better than the regular Pampers, but not loved.

During my research I stumbled upon Nature Babycare biodegradable disposable diapers on I LOVE these diapers! They are trim, they hold a lot of fluid and even newborn baby poop and they are pretty cute. No leaks, whatsoever. The downside is they are pricey, even more than Pampers, but they are good for the environment. I recommend them highly. Also, I found G-diapers ( which is a cloth/disposable hybrid. Great idea! They are cute and I haven't had any problems with leaks or flushing. Pretty easy to use, but I don't use them that often because I fell in love with cloth.
By the way, for wipes I tried out the biodegradable kind from Nature Babycare but didn't like them much. You had to use tons of wipes to clean up newborn poop and they don't dispense well. They were soft though. I also tried the generic 7th generation wipes from Whole Foods and REALLY didn't like those. They suck, suck, suck. Oh yeah, they suck. Don't buy them! So I use Huggies Sensitive and really like them. I will probably continue to use them until I run out of the giant pack I bought a while back. After that I would like to try the Bum Genius Bamboo cloth wipes with Kissaluvs diaper lotion potion.

For more on my eco-friendly diapering adventures and cloth diaper reviews, stay tuned.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Adventures in Wyoming

So, I haven't gotten around to getting pictures of the "palace." I am waiting until I get all the rooms done, and since Josh isn't here yet, his room is really empty. However, I have taken some pictures from some of our outings. Here are some of the oh so exciting things that we have done lately:

-We drove to Sheridan to visit the local farmers market. This was a great outing in theory but not so much in execution. Sheridan is a cute little town about 100 miles from Gillette (yeah, everything in WY is far away), so we packed a picnic dinner and headed out to Sheridan. We got to Sheridan without a problem, however finding the market was an issue, but thanks to Lenzy H. we found it. Unfortunately, we arrived 20 minutes after it opened and there was nothing left! The market was pretty small to begin with but I never expected that there would be no fresh produce left, but alas, there were slim pickings. There was a vendor selling cookies, so we bought two of those and then camped out on the grass for our picnic. It was a nice picnic but I was pretty disappointed we didn't get any super fresh organic produce. Alas. I hear the farmers markets around Rapid City are supposed to be better, so maybe when we have more disposable income we can try those out.

-For some reason people in Wyoming really like fireworks. All this week there has been a huge fireworks show at the CAM-PLEX (the local arena). We went on Sunday evening and though we were eaten alive by mosquito's, except for Ravenna, it was pretty awesome. It felt weird considering it wasn't the 4th of July, but still cool. Ravenna definitely seemed to enjoy it.

-Some of our dining experiences here in Gillette have been pretty interesting. Mostly I cook at home, but a few times, including our anniversary on Tuesday, we sampled the fine dining of Gillette. I use the term "fine" loosely, but it was food. We tried out the China King Buffet, which was recommended by Ken and Mishelle. It was no P.F. Changs and some of their items were a bit weird (stuffed mushrooms and french fries?) but we didn't have to wait to eat, which was a plus. On our anniversary we went to a local pizza place...definitely NOT fresh ingredients and very expensive for what you get, plus although we were the only people in the place when we ordered we didn't get our pizza for over an hour. Maybe they were waiting for the dough to rise? Oh yeah, it was frozen dough. Huh...?

So those are some of our experiences of Wyoming so far. I hope that my next entry about activities in Wyoming will be more exciting. One positive thing that I can say is that I am glad there aren't any really good places to eat-out here in Gillette because otherwise I think the temptation would prove irresistible. Watching the Food Network is definitely getting me more psyched about cooking, though.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

I wouldn't normally blog about something this personal but I thought that maybe sharing would help others in the future. Moving to a new place and starting from scratch is often scary and expensive: In addition to your regular monthly expenditures you have security deposits, moving truck expenses, fees up the wazoo for everything you can imagine, not to mention the fact that you sometimes have to wait for the first paychecks to start arriving from your new employment. So it is with us. Andrew doesn't get paid until the end of September even though he starts work on August 12th. Our savings have dwindled to just enough to pay our rent and utilities next month and little more, so today we found ourselves at the community food pantry.

This is probably the most humbling experience I have ever had. We were told to go to the pantry by an employee of the DFS because other aid takes a lot longer to recieve. I had no idea what to expect and I was embarrassed to be there. I kept thinking: "I am not lazy, I am not a druggie, and I shouldn't be here," but the kindness that we recieved was astounding. The woman who was helping us didn't ask us embarrassing questions or even ask why we were there. When we told her, she understood and told us that she had been in a similar situation and had to use the pantry when she moved to Gillette. At the pantry we were given the basics, mostly canned foods and dry goods, but some surprises like frozen cheesecake. What we received was enough to help round out what we currently have in our food storage and make me feel much more secure.

Tonight as I was pondering our situation and grateful for a far from empty pantry I thought about all those times that I was asked to give to the local food bank and used it as an opportunity to clean out the things that we didn't eat/want. I am ashamed because I could have given more and didn't. The point I am trying to make is that you never know when you might be in a similar situation, so the next time you are asked to give, please think of all those other families who, like us, worry because they don't have money to buy groceries; I certainly will.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wyoming! Whew...what a ride!

I finally have a moment and I thought that I would update everyone on how our move went: First of all, I want to thank everyone who helped us move and clean, especially Sterling, the Clements, the Hursts, Lindsay H. We could not have done it without you guys! I especially want to thank Jillynn for all of her help and support. She has been such a true friend to us!

So moving day, Wednesday, was crazy busy but we finally got done in the early evening. Thanks to Lindsey O. for letting us stay with her overnight. We departed from Wymount Thursday at 7:30 am towing our car behind us in the Uhaul. It was NOT a quiet ride, as is advertised on the truck, but overall it wasn't too bad and we even got 10! miles per gallon thanks to the mostly flat Wyoming terrain. We arrived in Gillette around 5:30 pm and stayed with my aunt Mishelle.

Early Friday morning we arrived at our apartments, signed our lease, and waited for members from the E.Q. to help us move. And we waited...and waited. Eventually we realised that nobody was coming, so the two of us got most of the stuff moved in by ourselves (nearly broke our backs doing it, I might add). After a few hours the E.Q. president called and sent over the missionaries to back us up. Thanks to the Elders we were able to get the really heavy stuff unloaded. About a half an hour after we finished a few members showed up to help. Don't worry, I was mad at first (more panicked actually) but I still have a testimony.

Aside from the unloading difficulties, the move went great. Our apartment is AMAZING! I have taken to calling it "The Palace" and I will refer to it as that from now on. We are the very first people to live in it and have a whopping 1150 sq ft. to ourselves! Our apartment is equipped with such luxuries as three bedrooms (including a master suite), two full bathrooms, central A/C, a dishwasher, and the best part: a WASHER/DRYER! Oh my goodness, I have never been so happy to have an appliance in my home! I have already done like 10 loads and I still giggle with joy every time I do. OK, you may be thinking I am crazy, but after using a laundromat for SIX years I think a little bit of craziness is understandable.

I will post some Palace pictures soon and blog about some of our adventures. Our impression so far is very good: the people are really nice and our ward is very friendly. Oh, another factoid about Gillette/Campbell County, WY: there are 2 antelope to every 1 person.