The last time I checked in here, I was in the midst of writing an epic cloth diapering guide for prospective cloth diaperers. I have a full post on how to wash cloth diapers sitting in my drafts, and have for two weeks, but I haven’t posted it. Why?
Because the very day I wrote the rough draft, I went out and pulled the nastiest smelling load of cloth diapers out of my dryer that I ‘d ever smelled, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to de-stink them ever since. I won’t bore you by telling you how many times and methods I’ve used to strip my diapers, how many detergents I’ve tried, how many experiments with amounts of detergent and amounts of water I’ve conducted, how many diapers, inserts, and wipes I’ve hand washed. Needless to say, I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks washing diapers, and while I’ve (mostly) got the stink under control, I’ve got six inserts that are destined for the garbage because I just can’t de-funk them, and at least one rogue inserts that keeps stinking up the entire load of diapers every time it goes through the dryer.
I think my problems stem from: 1) moving into a house with very hard water, and 2) a load of diapers being left unnoticed in the diaper pail in my garage for nearly a week. The smell is definitely ammonia-related, and after Dawn and bleach and Mighty Bubbles all failing to kick the stink, I’ve got Rockin’ Green’s Funk Rock ammonia bouncer en route to my house. We’ll see how it goes. I’m in maintain mode right now, though, and not feeling any degree of confidence in my laundry expertise, so I will have to continue putting off the laundry post until I solve this issue.
In the meantime, between the last time I wrote and now, Isla transitioned out of her crib and into her big girl bed and the crib, along with the high chair Isla has been boycotting since the holidays, went into storage. The big girl bed transition went much better than expected. The first week was a little rough, with long bed times and nighttime wake-ups, and getting Isla to nap in her bed on the weekends a challenge, but she’s now very happily going to bed every night. After Isla’s bath and jammies, we sit and read books in bed for 10 or so minutes, and then I turn off the lights, give her a kiss, and leave, and there she stays usually until 7 AM and even later on the weekends. Sleep comes in cycles and I know we’ve probably still got some rough nights ahead, but for now, I’m very grateful for all the sleep happening in my house.
Also, after two weeks of Isla asking nightly to use the potty–and usually meeting with success–we started potty training again over the weekend. Saturday went really well, but then Kellen left for London on business on Saturday evening, and my parents arrived with all the attendant spoiling and routine disruption grandparents always bring. (I’m not knocking this, btw. I’m very grateful for my parents’ help while Kellen is out of town and having two more grown-ups in the house means I’ve had more time to get stuff done than I’ve had since before Christmas.) We had two accidents on Sunday, though, and Isla refused to use the big potty at all, throwing a tantrum every time I so much as mentioned it, so I’ve decided we’ll leave off until Kellen is back home and our routines are back to normal.
Over the weekend, I had my first sewing party with a few of my girlfriends. All 4 of us own sewing machines, but for the most part don’t use them, and only 1 of us really knew how to use our machines (I learned in high school, and sewed a little in Oregon, but it’s been many years since I’ve had a decent machine or the time to sew anything, and my new machine is, you know, not 30 years old, which makes it very different from every machine I’ve ever used before between my mom and grandma’s machines and my high school home ec class.) So all of us picked a pattern, collected various supplies, and converged upon my dining room table with our sewing machines, and my friend who can sew, Sarah, graciously and patiently sat down and taught all of us n00bs how to do things like…load our bobbins and sew in a straight line. Despite our inexperience, though, we all ended up leaving with usable wallets, so I would say all in all, it was a success!
The weather here has alternated between freezing cold with a terrible biting wind and worse traffic problems (you’ve probably seen the jokes on the internet about how things shut down in the South any time there are a few flurries) and being 70 degrees and gorgeous. On Saturday evening, I was running errands in shorts and flip flops and had the air conditioner running. When I woke up Sunday, I had to bundle up just to go let the chickens out of the run and avoided being outside as much as possible. Such is Texas weather. 40-degree swings in a 24-hour period are completely normal, and honestly, I’m so grateful for the days of sunshine, it’s hard to complain a whole lot about the bad weather. It’s such an improvement over my last several winters in Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota, in some ways I feel like the cold days are just our karmic retribution for getting to enjoy so much warmth and sunshine in January and February.
All in all, I’m feeling very grateful for being in Texas, for the (mostly) good weather, and for all the friends and family and support we have here. I’m also so grateful that we were able to buy a home, and one that has been so perfectly suited to our family. We’ve had fresh greens and eggs to eat the last few weeks, and Isla has lots of room to run around and explore. We haven’t been here long, but it feels like the place we were always meant to be.