Spring gardening

20140321-131712.jpg

A&B seem to be enjoying our first new adventure into……
gardening!!!

Well with spring just around the corner we are getting in gear to plant our garden! While both Scott and myself don’t exactly have “green thumbs” we thought we would give gardening a go this year. We’ve talked about all the things we would want and decided on a few that were realistic to try and grow for first timers 😉
20140321-133530.jpg
We decided on
1) sugar snap peas
2) corn
3) tomatoes
4) watermelon
5) onions
6) carrots
7) peppers
8) garlic
9) potatoes
10) melon
11) squash
12) herbs….undecided
Actually finding seeds proved to be a little more challenging as we did look for non GMO/organic seeds.[If you aren’t sure of the difference look here] Once we found seeds the other “stuff” seemed even more challenging, did you know you, are supposed to plant certain plants together? Let’s just say, I learned something new… every step of the way with this project! But we have plans for our outdoor beds drawn up, arrangements for where the plants will grow, and vermiculite, all on stand by…..

For now were germinating!

20140321-124711.jpg

Still lovin our G’s

Using cloth diapers has become a norm for us as many of you know. I really feel it was the best choice for us for many reasons. But, that being said cloth isn’t for everyone and is an investment. So…do your research first….Anyhow, cloth! I get a lot of questions about what to do with cloth diapers after potty training. And really it depends. Do you want to sell, trade, have more kids later, repurpose…etc.

we are always adding to our cover stache, some styles are too cute to turn down;) !!

20140321-111828.jpg

We eventually want to sell, and since we have only Gdiapers, we can break up our large lot into small “trial batches” and resell on one of the many swap sites. For now, however, we will use them as our night time protection! That’s right the guys have been waking up dry on occasion, so we thought we’d try cloth again. We had to go back to disposables for nights at about 19m; we gave them drinks pretty close to bed time, so, they were heavy wetters. With transitioning to big boy undies for naps we thought we’d try cloth again at night. And they were actually dry! We do still line it with 2 cloth inserts. So our stache of 30 cloth liners and 15 covers is being cycled through fully again as our night time diapers. Since we don’t have laundry in the house I rinse dirties thoroughly and do laundry at the laundrymat once a week. In summer I could probably take em every other week, but hey, by then we may not need diapers at all.

Green Momma

Eco Friendly ParentingAs promised our eco friendly laundry methods! Soap Nuts! plain and simple, I will NEVER go back…So the run down, they are literally nuts (4 per baggie) that you put in a little cloth, muslin to be precise, baggie and tie it shut. Throw it in the laundry, no detergent or softener needed. Each baggie can be used multiple times though it varies greatly by load size to my understanding. I’ll update you when our first baggie runs out, but, they are supposed to just turn to mush. Our Laundry…well…smelled like clean cotton/denim/poly blends etc. no lingering odors or flowery fresh scents, making it perfect for us! It was recommended for cloth diapering habit, so we tried a “stripping” last weekend, its really like new cloth! I was so pleased, I will never go back to regular soap. Plus, the nuts can be turned into liquid soap and is an ingredient in things like shampoo and bug repellant! SCORE:)
And also the promised new recipes! Coco-nana-balls/squares/bars a fun concoction that produced amazing little treats! I cant tell you exactly what I used because I attempted from another recipe and when I tried to triple it…well…that’s when it went a little awry. This was the end product though Eco Friendly Parenting
*4 large ripe bananas
*3 T. Melted Coconut oil
*6 T. Shredded coconut
*3 t. Cinnamon
*3 T. Coconut flour
*3 t. Vanilla extract
*6 T. Maple syrup
*3 T. Homemade Unsalted butter
*1 c of oats
*1 bag of Qi’a, I used apple cinnamon flavor
Flatten in a baking pan to desired thickness, ours were about 2in, and baked at 350 for just shy of 30min!
Keep in mind this is a very rough guess-timate of the ingredients and baking directions:)
Eco Friendly ParentingWe also made sweet potato fries. Scott and I really loved the frozen sweet potato fries with chipotle, but in an effort to “eat fresh” as we call it, I looked up alternatives. Well I gave up rather fast, I have little patience when I think I’m signing up for an easy project and it turns out to be a pain in my ass. So, I decided to wing it…..are you catching a pattern here?…I left the skin on but scrubbed the whole potato clean. I then sliced them the “long-way” about 1/2 inch thick. Added a sprinkling of salt and a cup of oil in the bottom of the pan, and sloshed the sweet potato slices around in it. Baked at 450F turning and mixing every 5/10min until desired crispiness!
In other news it seems there was a mix up with our mail, we still haven’t gotten any. It wouldn’t matter so much, but were waiting on paperwork for a “modeling” job for the boys. We’re hoping to be able to build them a college fund! Plus it helps with getting them out and experiencing different things:) but check out this “live action” from the other day. I only wish I had a better camera on me when I snapped this pic with my phone….or that they would hold the pose for me;) But hey, we may soon have cuter pictures than this!Daily Life

What I wish I knew BEFORE cloth diapering twins

Daily Life
As most of you know we are currently doing Nakie Days potty training however, when we started, we used diapers…and no, not cloth diapers :0 We started on disposables. Honestly, we didn’t have the money to pay up front for new cloth diapers and since I was new to it all I had no clue there are trades, swaps and sells of all kinds. Needless to say we used what we were given as gifts and used coupons to buy what more we did need for disposables. This stockpile held us over until they were 5 months old. No joke, it was great to not have to diaper shop. By the time we were out we had gotten some Gdiapers to try, as we were told they were a gateway cloth diaper. I looked at the company and I liked that it was a company I could stand behind and feel good about buying from. In addition, we could still use them as a disposable(with the convenience of being flushable)and of course the other perks of cloth:) One problem… we had no idea what to expect, I mean who cloth diapers twins?! Well, we do, and a surprising amount of other twin mommas! Its not for everyone but here’s how we do it!
Our Stash:
We started with 24 inserts/5 covers/5 liners and soon realized that was NOT enough, even with doing laundry daily. Yes, we wash our own. We added 36 more inserts to our stash immediately and over the next 8 months we added 10 more covers and 15 more liners. This meant we only had to wash once every three days. Ours are all Larges, the boys were a little small for them in the beginning but it worked out well and we’ve been able to get more use out of them! Also Gdiapers use a paper like liner against the back of the cloth insert, but if you sew a piece of fabric on the back it works just as well:) Voila…see picture for example:)
Daily Life

Daily Life in cloth
The boys did wonderfully with the transition from disposable to cloth. Their instinctual “dirty alert” with cloth diapering became like clock work every day. It was soon after that we introduced the potty(we’re still in the process of finding the best potty for boys, and I will review them all later). The day we got the potty we decided to time our “potty breaks” for when they normally went. Instant success! Cloth Diapering reinforced the natural tendency for our boys to not like their soiled diapers on their bums. After 6 months of timing their potty needs we rarely had more than one poop mess per day and even those if caught fast enough easily “peel” off the cloth G insert, and flush. Yes, if its really liquid-y it soaks in and is harder to get out, so catch it fast 😉 Through out the day I would keep used G’s in a fabric tote (with a garbage liner in it) in our laundry room. If I was lazy I washed what was in that tote once per 3 days, if I was super mom twice per day. And hey, you don’t even have to wash, there are services in just about every major city that wash cloth diaper inserts for you. Leaks, explosions, and utter disaster? Not here, we had the expected FULL diapers and a mishandling by mommy or daddy that got poo everywhere, but things were always nicely contained with G’s. Boy parts do tend to be a little more… crafty shall we say.. about leaking. But, if you don’t want leaks …its all about a snug fit! My only complaint is about night time/nap time absorbency, we have had to stick with disposables to get the needed protection(that was without a nighttime bottle and ample potty breaks :/) oOHhh just a heads up too, cloth are BIG compared to your disposables so plan on going up a size in clothes. We “lost” a good portion of 6m clothes when we started and jumped right to 9m.
Washing Cloth
Yes this does incur a dollar amount so, remember to figure that in when you decide if its cheaper for you. As I said before, if washing isn’t for you there are services in almost every major city….and my solution to everything…just google it! We wash with homemade detergent and always do 2 wash/rinse cycles. It helps with build-up. If you do have build up you will start to notice a constant odor, possibly diaper rash;all you need to do is strip them. Pretty simple, wash/rinse without detergent over and over(5 cycles for us). We do this every 3/4 months, but keep in mind we have few poops in diapers.

Eco Momma

Daily LifeIn the last few weeks I have managed time to cross off some of my “projects” from the DIY list.
Daily LifeOur first DIY project and most noteworthy creation? Eco-friendly and family safe cleaner! We made from a few simple ingredients, vinegar and orange peels, vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks. Since it takes about a month to “ferment” we made a large enough batch to have around for a little while. (ie 5 bags of oranges worth of peels, 10 cinnamon sticks and 5 vanilla beans) The first batch is still out for review from the ladies at work, and we have just wrapped up making our second batch. The second batch we ended up doubling, since you can use the orange peels for two batches before throwing them away. Now that its all strained (we just used diaper cloth that wasn’t pre folded), we put it into canning jars to store it and some in a squirt bottle in the kitchen. Daily Life
our second DIY project was yogurt. The between the boys and Scott its hard to keep it in the fridge:0 Plus we get the organic, so the price adds up! Anyhow, after a quick recipe check we found that all it took a gallon of milk, 1/2c of yogurt and a few kitchen items, a thermometer, pot, strainer and bowl. After boiling the milk (any kind you want) and letting the temperature come back down to 100*F, then mix in your room temperature 1/2c of plain yogurt. Leave over night(approx. 8 hours) in the oven with the oven light on. In the morning, line the strainer with diaper cloth(this stuff is handy) and place the strainer over a bowl to catch the whey that will drain out. Depending on the thickness of yogurt you want leave it drain for more(thicker) or less time(runnier). We added fresh fruit and organic oats to round this out as a snack for the boys, we were also able to freeze them into yogurt drops…and yes they work wonders for our endless-teething-phase.Daily Life
our third DIY project was a fort made out of an old sheet for the boys! It was a queen size sheet and I cut it into 4 sections, sewing them all together to make one very long piece that is 4 feet wide. I then gathered the fabric to attach it to the “roof” of the fort which we attached with Velcro since the boys like to pull things down to their level. The “roof” has a serving tray from target in it and is connected with left over sheet cut into strips. Hanging it up from the ceiling we made a little rainy day hideaway with plushies and a mattress:)Daily Life
strong>our fourth DIY project was cloth diaper cleaning or “stripping.” It basically just means washing/rinsing out all of the build-up and grime. We already cloth diaper with our and have since the twins were 5 months, they’re now 15 months…so its time. (yes I’ll do a segment later on our choice to Cloth Diaper)
our fifth DIY project was to make our own deodorant! Way cheaper and it uses Coconut oil! I made a small batch from 5TBS of coconut oil, 1/4c corn starch and 1/4c baking soda (plus a few drops of whatever essential oils you like). Plus while its still warm you can pour it into your old deodorant container to re-use it! Plus, it really works:) Daily Life<

Scott and I are really happy to be finding healthier and cheaper ways to live. Stay tuned as we try more DIY like, home made bug repellant, sensory play with the boys, a few new food recipes!