Open Mouth. Insert Foot. - Cloth Diapers.

Okay.  Open Mouth.  Insert Foot.  We have switched to cloth.

Yep, I know, us?
I had NO interest in cloth with Nate.  I had a friend named Dana (our oldest sons are a month apart in age) who switched when her son was 6 months.  Hmm... I know someone who does cloth.  I became closer "Facebook Friends" with an old friend from elementary school named Dusti.  She does cloth.  Hmmm... two friends that do cloth.  Nope, no interest.  I hate laundry.

Time went on, a couple more Facebook "acquaintances" (because i don't really "converse" with these people) had made the switch.  A little research here an there.  Still not interested.

Got pregnant with Jackson.  A friend got pregnant with her little girl, Evangeline.  Meagan says, we're going to do cloth.  You're crazy.  No way.

While Meagan was pregnant with Evangeline, one of my best friends Veronica, someone I talk to, text, and spend time with more than anyone else (who is also pregnant) says:  I'm thinking about cloth.  Nope. You're crazy.  You don't want to do that.

Meanwhile, I'm doing research.  I'm in the closet.  Denial.

Last weekend, Veronica comes over and says... "Guess who's switching to cloth?"  Smirking.
I say:  "Guess who's been thinking about it?"
"No way!" she says.

And there, the addiction began.

Veronica showed me a (little bit cheaper and a little less laundry) system of cloth diapering called All In Two's.  From now on, I'll simply type "AI2."  At this point, neither Veronica nor I were set on which "system" we were going to use, but I figured if I was going to jump, I might as well have a friend to jump in with!  :)

I contacted Dana and told her about our "researching" and she offered to show us her "stash."  Cloth diapering folks call these things stashes.  Hmmm.... kinda like drugs.  Well, yeah, it turns into one of sorts. :)
That next Monday (March 4th) Veronica and I went to Dana's house for her to show us the basics, the different types, her likes and dislikes, etc.  This was very informative!

There's a huge store in Raleigh called "Sweet Bottoms Boutique" that I was interested in going to.  They have the biggest selections of all the different types, even more than our local boutique (All About Baby) in Greensboro... Don't get me wrong, they're great.  Since we weren't too sure which way we wanted to go, we decided to head to Raleigh with the most selection.  On a whim, we decided to head there that day!

The goods!  Get ready y'all!!!
When we got there... i was soooo overwhelmed.  The ladies at Sweet Bottoms helped us out so much, and we decided to still go with the AI2 system.  The brand that we mainly decided on was Flip diapers, from the makers of BumGenius.  In the diaper world, BumGenius is one of the most widely known brands, and best brands out there.  I did buy a couple of another brand called Best Bottoms, but more on that later.

Here are our four new "covers."

The Flip Diaper System uses something called an insert.  We use the "Stay Dry" inserts.  These have a stay dry top, where the baby cannot feel the wetness, and an absorbent bottom, that feels like a wet towel after the baby has urinated in it.

Flip Inserts have small, medium, and large folds in them.  Fold them to size, and (for boys) put the fold in the front flap of the cover, and the other end under the back flap.  You're all done!

One of the great things about the AI2 systems is re-using the cover.  This means less laundry!  After the baby has urinated in the insert, you simply take out the insert, wipe off the cover, and put a new insert in.  Takes about the same amount of time as changing a disposable diaper.  (Isn't this so much easier than "back in the day"?
--- when baby poops, you usually have to change the cover---

The Best Bottom Diapers have a "snap in" insert.  This is the same idea as the Flip insert, it just snaps at the front and the back.  We didn't have very good luck with poop with these inserts, as they are contoured to baby's body, and it leaked out the leg holes.  Pee-Pee gave us no trouble.
Another option we have are "pre-folds."  We have TONS of Gerber "old school" cloth diapers that we use for burp cloths.  We can also use these as inserts for our diaper covers, both Flip and Best Bottom systems.  They work quite well.  We have certain pre-folds designated for burp cloths, and others designated for diapers.  Definitely not overlapping those!  :)

Our last option for inserts is the disposable.  This is good for on the go use, or for family members or babysitters that might not be as comfortable with the "cloth."  These are completely biodegradable, unlike regular disposable diapers.  We have not tried these as yet, but I will let you know how they work!

 One of the great things about these diapers is they are ONE SIZE!  Yep, you heard it right!  Jackson  will be able to wear these diapers all the way into potty training!  So, after the initial cost of the diapers, we will no longer be buying them!  (well, with the exception of a cute cover here and there... i tell ya, addiction.)
Full Size.
Snap down to the size you need.  (Jackson is at the second row right now)
All done!
Here is the detergent that we are using at the moment.  Because of the film that regular detergent leaves on our regular clothes, we cannot use typical detergent.  The cost isn't too bad though, no worries.
 Here's the cuteness!  Now come on, can't nobody tell me THAT ain't cute!

 Now, what do I do with all of the waste?  All of the dirty inserts?  That's easy!  Wet bags!
We bought two.  The first is our wet/dry bag that stays in our diaper bag, made by GoGreen Diapers.  This has two sections:  one for clean diapers/covers, and the other for dirty.  The "wet" section is a PUL fabric that does not leak moisture.  The monkey (way cute!) bag made by PlanetWise is our wet bag for home.  It hangs on the doorknob and is larger than the one for the diaper bag.
When it's time for laundry, you unzip, dump diapers into the washer, turn the bag inside out, and throw it in with everything else!  Easy!

We had to go back to Sweet Bottoms Boutique and take our diaper sprayer back (it didn't fit our toilet.) and I got a couple more covers and inserts to complete our "stash" for now... you know, until something cute comes out.  :)  I also purchased some cloth wipes to see how I like those.
During our second trip to Sweet Bottoms, we also purchased a "Good Night Heavy Wetter" pocket diaper made by Kawaii.  We are going to try this for night time and see how it works.  I'll get back to you on this!

 So, what are you going to do with all those disposables, Heather?  Good question.  We had diaper cakes FULL of size 2 diapers.  These WILL be used.  Right now, we are using disposables here and there, but also using them at night.  We will not let these diapers go to waste.  The diapers in the packs and boxes we have?  We will be trading them in for gift cards to buy the boys clothes for this summer.  Nothing will go to waste, trust me!  Our plan right now is to have one pack of disposable diapers at the house in case we need them, or if babysitters do not feel comfortable using the cloth system.

So there you go... our new venture.  I'm excited about it.  I'm excited about saving money.  The average cloth diapering family saves over $3500 during the course of newborn to potty training.  I'm all about that!

Stay tuned for an update on our new journey!


Our First Night Away.

Jackson will be 6 months on the 19th of this month.  We had our first night away for our fifth anniversary this past weekend.  We have a hotel in the area called the Proximity, and we decided to splurge a bit (since it was year 5) and stay there for their "Date Night Package."  This included the room, $60 to the Print Works Bistro (the 5 star restaurant in the hotel) and $30 to the movies with transportation in their London Taxi.  Since there was nothing in that particular theatre that we were interested in seeing and we wanted to see the new The Great and Powerful movie, we decided to forgo that and save our tickets for something we WANTED to see.

Bread "service" as the waiter called it
truffle fries... soooo amazing.
Andrew got "Slow Braised Pork Cheek" (next picture)
I got "Sauteed Wild Mushroom and Shrimp Risotto" (picture after that)
our waiter saw us with our anniversary cards and surprised us at the end with a dessert sampler.

 Nate went on his first sleepover with his 2nd cousin (Andrew's cousin's little boy) KJ.  They made little pizzas, watched movies, played trains, and slept on the floor with blankets.  Well, KJ slept, Nate might have kept Andrew's cousin up until 2:30 singing.  :)  The next day, they went to another cousin's birthday party.

 Jackson and Sophie stayed with my parents.  I had a hard time with this, much more than I did with Nate.  I think part of the problem is the breastfeeding.  I have such a different bond with him than I did with Nate, though I in no way LOVE him any differently.  I knew it was time for us to get away, as husband and wife, even if it was in the same city, 15 minutes away, and only for one night.

We had such a relaxing day.  It truly was a little mini vacation.

I didn't bring my camera (gasp!) so all of our pictures are from my phone (and from respective baby sitters facebooks) , but they'll have to do!