Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life: August 2011

Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life is about paying attention to what it is that we do on a day to day basis and how we impact each other and the planet. We will talk about all of the things that we do here at home to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tutorial - How to Change a Prefold Cloth Diaper: So Easy a 5 Year Old Can Do It

People often say that cloth diapering is so scary, because you practically have to know origami to be able to fold the diapers and put them on the baby. This just isn't so. There are cloth diapers now that use snap or velcro type closures and are no more difficult than changing a disposable. Prefold diapers are the ones people often think of when they think cloth diapers, though, and they do take a bit more learning. However, they are cheaper than the easier options, and really, with just a little know how, anyone can change a cloth diaper! Just to prove it, the Bean would like to show you how.

Step 1: Take off diaper cover - for us, wool longies.

Step 2: Take off the Snappi.

Step 3: Take off wet diaper. Be sure to check for poop before pulling out the diaper.

Step 4: Hold both legs by the ankle, and lift. Place diaper under bottom, making sure to have the top of the diaper just above the belly button height.

Step 5: Pull diaper between legs and fold in thirds, like a towel.

Step 6: Pull diaper over crotch area so that it is snug against the bottom.

Step 7: Leaving the area between the legs folded, open the folds out at the top. This sounds much trickier than it is.

Step 8: It is sort of hard to see in this picture, but you need to fold the diaper down and to the inside, so that the top of the front of the diaper is below the naval.

Step 9: Wrap the front edges of the diaper down around the sides and wrap the back edges up, overlapping the front.

Step 10: Replace Snappi. Apply one long arm first. Stretch Snappi and apply the second arm next. Be sure that both arms are gripping the back part of the diaper that is folded around baby. Then stretch and attach the short arm.

Step 11: Replace diaper cover.

With a little bit of practice, this can all be done in about a minute. The Bean can do it in about a minute and a half, these days.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Gift of Creation

Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by http://www.hobomama.com/2011/08/august-carnival-of-natural-parenting.html" target="_blank">Hobo Mama and http://codenamemama.com/2011/08/09/aug-carnatpar/" target="_blank">Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

The past few weeks, the heat index at our house has been right around 106 degrees Fahrenheit.  We've, unfortunately, been running the air conditioner nearly non-stop.  The garden is producing, the kids have been playing in the sprinkler, and the chickens have slowed down their laying because it is so hot.

And I've pulled out the wool.  I whipped out a pair of mittens for Papa's birthday on the 26th, and when that was done, I finished up a new pair of shorties for Squeaker.

Then, I picked up the sweater I had started for the Bug this past spring.  I had it all done but the sleeves, and now I've got the sleeves about half way done.  I've also got the yarn already for the Bean's winter sweater, and a pattern picked out for a sweater for Squeaker.  Beanie will need a new hat this year, and a friend volunteered to make her a crocheted fire helmet.  Squeaker, the Bug, and Papa all have hats already.  I've got a cowl that doubles as hat and scarf, usually.  I may make myself a hat if I have time.  And I believe everyone should already have mittens that fit.  I'll have to get everything out and try it on when I get the sweaters done.

And then there is the sewing!  The Bug can wear Beanie's coat from last year, and we have the Bug's wardrobe from when he was a baby, so Squeaker should be set.  Beanie will need a bigger coat this year, and we picked out wool for it.  She also wants some winter dresses, so I'm going to upcycle some old wool sweaters into long dresses for her.  That should be warm!  They both have flannel lined corduroy pants from last year that should still fit them, and I'll likely make them new ones this year.  They have also announced that they want flannel lined overalls.  I suppose that we will need to buy or find a few shirts, and probably a few more sweaters for them.  But overall, I make quite a bit of their clothing, especially for winter.

Looking at this list just exhilarates me!  My family and I all love this creative process and watching something come out of something else.  A ball of string turns into a hat, mittens, a sweater, slippers, or any other number of things!  An old sweater with a hole in it becomes a dress, or pants, or a vest, or a diaper cover, or a quilt liner - the list goes on.  A flat piece of fabric becomes a warm article of clothing!  It is magic!  I remember that magic from when I was a child.  Watching my mother turn this flat piece of cloth into an amazing, beautiful dress for me.  Watching my grandmother make a fuzzy piece of flannel into the warmest nightgown I'd ever owned (nightgown!  Beanie wants flannel nightgowns, and the Bug wants nightshirts too!  Add that to the list!).  I was lucky to have people in my life who were so crafty to show me what the possibilities are.  Because making something for someone is so much more than just providing a layer of clothing, or something pretty to look at.  It is providing love, art, warmth, a process, and togetherness to that person.  I look back at those memories of my mother and grandmother making me clothing and I feel that love all over again.  I look at my daughter wearing my first flannel nightgown, and I am amazed that a second generation is now feeling the warmth of my grandmother's love.  I look at the quilts that Papa's grandmother made and gave us and I feel her love, even though she is gone.  I watch my children when we are planning a project, and making it, and I watch their joy as they experience the process.  The light in their faces when we pull out "their" dish cloths - the ones they picked and planned out and I knitted - is amazing.  Especially in a world where so much is disposable and taking the time to make one's own dish cloth can seem outlandish.

Creating for the people you love is such a wonderful gift.  It is a gift of so many layers beyond what it would outwardly seem to be.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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