Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cloth diaper reviews, part B

disclaimer: these were all purchased with my own money and I receive no compensation for reviews.

One Sized
Bum Genius 4.0.So far so good. We started using these around 9 and 10 lbs and they fit just fine. Both babies are still quite skinny (though their thighs seems darn chunky compared to their newborn legs), and we haven't had any leaks except one from user error (a NB insert for 6 hrs isn't a good idea even at 16 weeks and 11ish lbs).

We also have a couple of Flip covers and some stay dry inserts which are made by the makers of the BGs. The fit is the same, they're just more trim since its less fabric. I like them, especially since its fast and simple and less volume in the laundry and less to hang dry. They also held in a giant 3-days-worth of EBF poo this weekend (just imagine the mess that could have been. it took 4 wipes to clean up. my life is exciting, isn't it?). That said, these are kind of "my" diapers. I love using them because they're faster in the laundry - no stuffing etc - and smaller in the diaper bag, but everyone else seems to throw the whole shabang in the pail regardless of if the shell is soiled. Granted, I haven't really explained  the AI2 concept to anyone. I am always a little wary of scaring folks with my diaper chatter, especially since these are more "complicated" than your basic pocket from the diaper-changer's perspective.

BumGenius Elementals
These fit pretty much the same at the 4.0s, but are not pockets and are somewhat trimmer in the bottom. So far so good. We haven't given these a run for their money yet, but I have a feeling they'll be a good choice for outings and such due to the organic cotton which I've found to be nice and absorbent.    I kind of want more, but I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of BG's new "freestyle" - the AIO with a stay dry inner AND flap construction - so I'm holding off.

Oh Katy These are OK. They're a little trimmer than the BGs, and I like the snap-over waist. However, it never seems to lie flat (seeing as we are no where near the outside snaps). The hip snap is good though, and they work fine. The colors are awesome too.
Avery's first OS diaper (around 10 w and 8.5 or so lbs)

Rumparooz These are my favs. If they weren't $$$ I'd get a full stash of them (I think 5 of our 6 were bought used). The aplix and snaps fit equally well, even on our skinny babies. I like the fleece more than suedecloth too, and they're easy to stuff (some of our more well loved BGs seems a little sticky inside). They're a little more fluffy than the BGs, but I love them. The leg gussets - inside and out - are also nicer to me.

Quinn's first OS diaper (probably around 10w and 7.5 or so lbs)
We have three (bought used, I think they're One Size Minkys). They fit similarly to the BGs, and the minky fabric truely is soft. The inside is sort of rough though, and I'm not sure if its from age or just lower quality than the other diapers (given the cost and all). But, so far so good in terms of diaper-duty. The pocket is GIANT (deep/roomy - the opening itself is sort of narrow) on these and I think I might like them a lot for overnight.

I only have one of these - the snap down inside is a cool way to adjust the fit, and its pretty trim for a OS. The soaker is super soft too. Its perfectly fine, but I'm not smitten - for the money, I'd rather stick to more utilitarian pocket diapers and splurge on some sized AIOs for trimmer clothes.

We have several of these AIOs. I love the side snaps and trimness - even with them snapped down  - and how narrow they are between the thighs. We have long skinny girls, so this is a bonus.  You do have to be sure the soaker is tucked in when you put them on, and tuck the sides in behind it/on top of each other (this issue would go away with a larger baby), but so far so good. My only beef is the leg holes are still too big on our peanut baby, even with the second soaker snapped out, so I can't leave these out for grandmas (or, well, anyone but me since I clearly have a PROBLEM with diaper obsession...)
Avery in a Grovia and Quinn in an Oh Katy, 16 weeks (probably pushing 12 and 11 lbs, respectively)

We also have several grovia shells. LOVE these. They're lined with a mesh, so there's no PUL on baby, and the fit is trim. NB and small prefolds fit nicely inside, but I also love their snap in soakers because they are a) absorbent and b) don't move around. I'm itching to get more, as I have more shells than soakers (though plenty of prefolds...). But, see commentary on Flips about them being "mine".

We have two OS Fuzzinbunz, and I have to be honest, I only used one twice before putting them both in the to sell pile. It worked fine, and it wasn't that hard to adjust down to fit, and was relatively trim on our then 9.5 lb baby.  BUT....we have two in diapers. Due to the elastic, this is just NOT an adjust-on-the-go diaper...so...I will be selling them.

I think that's it in our current sized and one size pocket/AIO stash...I have a couple of other things to review in another post.  We do also have a couple of beyond adorable Blueberries, but they will need to wait a bit - they look bigger than our BGs, so I'm holding off on those until the babies are more like 13/14 lbs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the good, the bad...

Musings on Kitchen Renovation

A Sonnet

(actually I have almost no recollection of poetry from senior year of HS, so this is really just a random assortment of thoughts. feel free to read it in iambic pentameter. I don't care if its not written that way. Do it anyway.)

Countertop ordering is easy and sort of amazing.
Show up, point to what you like, go to yard.
Dudes come to house and measure

Under a week and two money orders later, you have a fully installed countertop.
Fastest kitchen project ever. Miraculous.

Plumbing is expensive. Doing it yourself takes forever.
I can't even talk about what we paid to have our sewer pipe replaced.
And did I really spend 5 hours - 10 man hours - moving our hot and cold water lines?
But its nice to have running water and a dishwasher.
We have babies. Bottles are a pain to wash.
And plugging in all this business only took an hour.
Instant gratification, saved for the end.

Cabinets are easier to install than I thought.
But I won't pretend.
My wife did almost all of the work.
She'll get credit for the new baseboard too.
I can't wait for them, so I can stop kicking the dog's toys into the basement by accident.

And alas, we need lights. and window coverings.
and hell, new windows.
this is only the beginning.

All done

With this load, all of our stuff is offically out of PA (tear). Its kind of a bummer we had to make another trip, but between the pregnancy and fast closing, we just didnt have time for a garage sale. All the stuff at our new house waiting to be disposed of took up more space in the van than this load would have!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cloth diaper reviews, part A

Its been a while...
At this point, we've mostly moved into one sized diapers, but I admit I have a soft spot for a nice, trim sized diaper. So...a few reviews to date...

disclaimer: these were all purchased with my own money and I receive no compensation for reviews.

Bum Genius AIOs (discontinued except XS). Love. Love. Love. Trim, sturdy, excellent fit. Our XSs are in the to-sell pile now. The Ss are favorites of my mom, who is anti-cloth just because, well, she is (she admits she doesn't have a reason, she just thinks disposables are "normal"). I just bought half a dozen used Ms because I love these so much and am bizarrely worried I won't be able to find them in 3 months when we need them. Considering about 70% of my stash of these was used, the aplix is in great shape, and the smalls work just fine overnight with a hemp doubler inside.
babies in Extra Smalls, around 8 weeks old.
Bottom Bumpers
I just got a S one of these used and it is awesome. It seems to be a little shorter in the rise than our other smalls, but it has 4 snaps on each side. The insert is super soft and it dries pretty fast. I'm thinking about getting more, but will probably look for Mediums since I'm concerned about the rise.

We have a couple of these in S that I bought used. The inserts seems weirdly small for the size of the pocket, but they work fine. There is NO way these would fit a 7 lb baby - we started using them around 10 and they just fit - but I like them, they're trim-ish, and we haven't had any leaks. I'm also considering more of these since they're pretty affordable for sized diapers.

Swaddlebees Simplex
We have 3 of these in the old version. These were my first sized diaper, and omg. So crazy trim, they feel like a disposable under clothes. They're a little taller than the bottombumper, and shockingly absorbent. These actually lead me to think the cotton holds more than microfiber.  Supposedly these run small, and I just picked up 2 used Ms I told will fit more like 10 than 12 lbs (which is what's marked), but we're still on the tightest snaps of the Ss, so I think we have some room in them.

Thirsties Duo
We have several of these in Size 1.  They were our first pockets and I really liked them. We used them with just half of the soaker for a while, then both when our then 7 and 8 lb babies started sleeping 4 hours at a time. When we moved into other pockets though, I kind of lost the love. The pocket is awkward and they're really bulky for a (semi) sized diaper - no trimmer than our OS pockets. Also, the aplix is not very sticky. Granted, ours were secondhand, but I bought them in good shape and they seemed to wear quickly. They're in the sell pile now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Our first photo card ever is in the works.
One photo session down, and no clear winner....but for your viewing pleasure, a couple of outtakes!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

80% done

Maybe more? I can't really be bothered with such complex calculations at this point.

The kitchen is coming along.
All of these photos are from the same vantage point (the back door).

when we looked at the house (it was the same at closing, less the microwave and pans)

a few weeks ago. nevermind the collection of live wires dangling around.

now. for bonus points, there's power AND working plumbing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

faucet surgery

Our new house is not so new. To be specific, it was built in 1928. We bought it as an estate from the second owner, who purchased it sometime in the late 60s.  Based on the condition of the house, I think the front porch was closed in, the upstairs dormers added, siding replaced, and the kitchen renovated JUST prior to his purchase. The house must have been in tip top shape then.

Of course, as you may have surmised from the kitchen reno, nothing has been touched in the previous 40 years.

Since my mother in law is staying with us to spend some time with the babies (and my father in law will also be joining us for Thanksgiving and Christmas), we are getting a bit more use out of the semi-finished upstairs than I anticipated.

Upon purchase, the upstairs bathroom was, um...dirty. I should have taken photos, but lets just say there was rust in the toilet. It took my mother in law about 4 hours to clean the room (including scrubbing the tile ceiling. who tiles a ceiling? reno fail.). She's been here a week now and I got the first complaint Friday -- the hot water was leaking in the sink - not a drip, a steady stream, and the cold water knob basically turned to full blast upon being touched.

Like any good daughter with a handy dad (who fixed a similar leak in the downstairs bath a few weeks ago), I called for help. Sadly, I was told "pull the valve out and replace it". Sigh. Guess my free handyman is taking the weekend off.

So off I go. Remove the H/C sticker thingies, unscrew the knobs, unscrew the nut do-hickey.
well, this is lovely.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

our tiny little nuggets

I'm late with this, but how are our 3.5 and 5 lb babies over 3 months old! And over 9 and 10 lbs!? They're rockstars, seriously. They're on track (for the later end) for milestones for their actual age, and they're huge.

Birth: 3 lbs 8 oz (wayyyy below the bottom of the growth chart, even for 35w gestation) & 16 inches (slightly less far below but still at least an inch below the lines)
3 months: 9 lbs 9 oz (scraping the 1st percentile line for actual age, and around 10th for adjusted) & 22.5 inches (around 15th percentile actual and 55th adjusted). This is our IUGR baby, and I'm very proud.

Birth: 5 lbs 0 oz (

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More progress

Of course there is no electric

Happy Halloween

I can't believe they're already over two months old!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making progress

Of course, we still need the other half of the cabinets......and to hook up the plumbing and electric....the heat is on.