Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wool Diaper Covers - A Current Assessment

A few months ago, Caedmon decided it was fun to take his diaper cover off.  The velcro tabs were just all too easy to pull.  This led me on a quest for an alternative to my beloved Bummi Whisper Wraps (specifically in froggie pond print).  The most obvious choice was the Super Snap.  I tried one of those when Caedmon was a newborn and didn't like it because it's kind of a pain to put on (and it only comes in boring white), but it's also a little more difficult to take off.  So into the cart went the Bummi Super Snap.  After looking through the other options, I allowed myself to amble over to the wool section.

Ah, wool.  Nice, natural, nothing added wool.  It keeps popping up in all my favorite natural parenting places.  It's something I hadn't tried because it sounded like a lot of extra work (I don't care how pretty something is, if it says handwash, it's not going in my basket.), and it's expensive.  But I had read about one mom who switched to wool because we don't really know how safe the chemicals that go into PUL (the waterproof lining of most diaper covers) are.  That seemed like a good point.  It is more natural.  And since most wool covers pull on like pants, it was likely that it would stay where I put it (Caedmon has not yet reached the point of taking his pants off on his own, although I'm sure he could.).  So into my cart went the wool diaper covers.

Here's the current assessment:  They are super cute, they seem comfy, and they really wouldn't be that hard to care for if you really only had to wash them once a month as recommended.  Here's the problems:  They stretch out.  Maybe I bought them too big because after about a day of wear the crotch is hanging down around Caedmon's knees.  That's bad enough, but then because they are so loose, poop falls out!  Not only does poop fall out on the floor, but it also gets on the wool cover which means I have to wash it almost every time he poops.  

I don't know if I did something wrong in the care or if I just bought them too big, but any help would be appreciated.

Oh, and he stopped taking his cover off about the time I got the new ones in the mail...

Note: If you are interested in cloth diapers, I highly recommend Green Mountain Diapers. They are awesome!  I'm not sure I would have ever tried or figured out cloth diapering without them.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is this normal?

I washed the fabric for my quilt today.  And here's what happened:

I swear I don't remember this kind of mess when I washed fabric a couple of years ago.  Granted, I wasn't washing eleven different pieces back then, and I was using my washing machine that doesn't have an agitator.  I washed it on the gentle cycle. 

After thirty minutes of untangling and trimming, I was left with this:

Did I miss something?  Is there something you can do to prevent this?  Or is this perfectly normal? 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week One of the Quilt Along

Yesterday, I took a trip to JoAnn's to pick out fabric for the quilt I'm making for the Quilt Along, and I got totally overwhelmed.  Mostly because I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to do.  My original idea for my first quilt was to attempt making a quilt that could go on Caedmon's bed when he moves to a single size mattress.  That was probably a bit ambitious for my first project, but I figured I've got time, and Caedmon won't judge if Mom's first try is a bit off.  But when I saw this Quilt Along, I thought it would be a good way to keep myself on track and get some encouragment.  So now I'm making a lap quilt.  All that to say, I hadn't really thought about what I wanted this to be when I went to the fabric store which resulted in a spinning head from all the options.

So I came home, regrouped, looked at my fellow quilter's selections, and anxiously awaited my next attempt.  Today, I went back with my best friend (Happy Birthday to her!), and it was much easier to have someone give a second opinion (although she will say it was just so I could reject her suggestions) and tell me that it actually is alright to stack your cart with twenty reams (Is that the right word?) when you only need ten.

So here is the final result:

Next step is to wash, dry, and iron them.  Believe it or not, I have done that before, so I think we will be okay!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Importance of Knowing Your Yeast...

I've suddenly got this bee in my bonnet that I need to make everything myself instead of buying it in a store. Okay, I guess it's not that sudden. I've always had the idea, but I don't always have the drive, the time, or the know-how to do it. My first order of business: learn how to make bread. Not banana bread or cranberry nut bread (both of which I actually thought were intimidating enough at first, but have turned out to be easy), but the real thing. Something we can soak up our soup with or make a sandwich. Since How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman has become our household go-to cook book, I started there. I made the olive oil and salt bread. It turned out delicious, and not too intimidating since it was not a yeast bread. So I moved on to the next recipe which is Jim Lahey's No Work bread recipe...

I was very proud of myself when I finished the first step and took this picture:

I had created dough! I created dough; I can do anything now, right? I didn't know what to do with the yeast I hadn't used, so I continued looking through the cookbook until I came to the section on yeast. This is where I found out that the type of yeast I used had to be activated. What?! Well, it was too late now. Might as well just leave it on the counter and see what happens.

I was so excited when I saw this the next morning:

It expanded! That's a good sign, right? Eh, well...I knew something was wrong when I moved to the next step in the recipe. Take it out of the bowl and fold it a couple of times. It didn't really fold. It was a blob. Shape it into a ball? Nope. Not going to happen. Yet I pressed on and pretended I could actually do what the book asked me to do.

Here is what the finished product looked like:

It was ridiculously dense but not too bad considering. My husband devoured it in less than 24 hours. Possibly just to make me feel better, but I'll choose not to think that. Here's to next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Maybe I Should Reconsider the Name...

Why, yes, I do find the irony in the fact that my blog is named The Writing Fox, and I never write. But seriously, dear Caedmon is actually starting to get more independent, so I might be running out of excuses. All of this to say, I don't have time to post right now because the husband is summoning me to watch 30 Rock, but soon, very soon, I will try to be back. I might even finish those two drafts that are sitting in my "to be posted" pile from over a year ago!

And this has nothing to do with New Years Resolutions, by golly. I gave up on those silly things long ago.