Vaccine Safety Manual

image Vaccines… are they good or bad? That’s an issue we hear debated a lot but it can be hard to get any concrete info on it. There are so many books out there on the subject and everyone seems to have their opinion. Since having another daughter my husband and I were forced to make a decision about the issue. After reading several books and websites I was leaning one way but wasn’t totally SURE about it. This all changed when I read the “Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners” by Neil Z. Miller.

This book is FULL of research and statistics on vaccines. It describes each disease and how dangerous it is, explains the vaccines used and their effectiveness and gives the history of how the disease has been treated through time. This is absolutely the BEST book I have read on the issue of vaccines! It supplied all the information I was looking for and enabled me to make a well informed decision that I can feel confident about. I absolutely recommend this book to EVERY parent! This is a must read that you can’t afford to miss!

Book Review: The Little House

image Here is an excellent, classic book for both children and adults. Virginia Lee Burton tells the story of a cute little house who lives out in the country and is quite happy there. As the story goes, the city is built closer and closer to the little house until it is completely surrounded and falls into disrepair. The sad little house longs to be lived in again and ends up being rescued. This book is well written and the pictures engaging. I love how it portrays the different seasons and shows how the landscape changes with “progress.” Despite having read this story to my daughter several times I still tear up at the end. It’s just that good!

Cloth Diapers

image Diapers. It’s a reality every parent faces (unless you’re doing infant potty training). For an eco-friendly and cost-efficient option, cloth diapers can’t be beat! There are SO many different options available now.

With my first daughter I used the the cheap chinese pre-fold diapers and pins that you can buy in most stores. They didn’t absorb well though and the pins were hard for me to manage so I couldn’t stick with it. I admire our mothers who raised all their kids on rubber pants that are a pain to get off and pins that poked them! Some women still use these! If you’re one of these women, way to go! :) With my newest daughter I decided to try what they call, “modern cloth diapers” and they have turned out to be so easy! I actually prefer them to disposables! They breath a lot better so they don’t smell quite as bad.

If you are considering cloth diapers, here are a few recommendations that I’ve been using:
Diapers:
Crickett’s Diapers This is a fitted diaper made of hemp.
Pros: They are VERY absorbent and hardly EVER leak. They’re really easy to put on with snaps that create a custom fit for your child as they grow. There are two sizes with this diaper, one for infants, and one for toddlers. I like that these diapers are made with hemp (although they now offer them in cotton as well). Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial and more eco-friendly than other fabrics. The Bummis covers that they recommend didn’t work well for me though. They leaked a lot and didn’t fit my daughter well. I recommend Thirsties diaper covers instead.
Cons: These diapers are less expensive than other fitted diapers but more expensive than pre-folds. Also, after several months of use they started to have a slight smell to them and I had to change my laundry routine to help keep it away. Hemp is workable but IS a bit more work in the laundering department. They also take a bit longer to dry because they are so thick.

Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers
Pros: These pre-folds are very good quality and absorb well. These are the only diaper I use now. I chose these over the other pre-folds due to them being the highest rated pre-fold diaper on the Diaper Pin forums. They are a fraction of the cost of fitted diapers! It’s also nice that they dry much quicker. A must with these diapers is the “Snappi” fastener. It is SO much nicer than the old pins!
Cons: The only downside of these that I’ve found so far is they leak (but only rarely) when they get extremely full and when my daughter poops in them the poop sometimes gets on the inside of the cover but that’s not a big deal. Anyway, I love them! You can’t beat the price for the quality you get!

Waterproof diaper covers:
Thirsties Thirsties diaper covers have been the best investment I’ve made with cloth diapering! Thanks to their design incorporating leg gussets they work extremely well. They come very highly recommended on the Diaper Pin forums. I wouldn’t use anything else! There are a lot of online stores that sell these but I got mine on sale at Teeni Banini. They are also available at the “Green Mountain Diapers” website where I bought my pre-fold diapers.

Wet Bags: These are a must with cloth diapering on the go. I bought a couple of large ones from Sarah’s Stitches that have worked very well and were inexpensive. You can also find a variety of wet bags on Etsy.

Detergent: After doing a lot of researching I decided on getting a cheap store brand. It works great at getting out the smell without harming the diapers. Here’s a chart to help you find the right detergent:
Detergent Choices

Diaper Rash Salve: Northern Essence This diaper “ointment” is great because it doesn’t cause buildup on the cloth diapers, it smells great, works well and is in a convenient push tube so you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!

As to how I care and launder my diapers, I follow the procedure suggested at this Cloth Diapering University. Doing the “dry pail” method has worked out really well for me. It’s SO much nicer than the “wet pail” method where you have to rinse the diapers and soak them in poopy water.

If you’re interested in trying cloth diapers and have any questions, just let me know.

Quote: Parenting Matters

"If I screw up raising my kids, nothing else I accomplish matters much.”

~Steve Martin, “Cheaper by the Dozen”

2009 Calendar

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Add to 2009 Resolutions…

...Don’t procrastinate.

Today I FINALLY got a 2009 calendar up on the fridge. Up until this point I’ve had to remember everything in my head which is just asking for trouble! Perhaps you are also like me and have yet to get a calendar. Maybe you’re just holding out until the calendars go on sale, like I had considered doing. Or maybe this year your grandmother didn’t end up sending you one of the many free calendars that she got in the mail. Whatever the reason, it’s never to late to put up a unique and fun calendar.

I found a printable calendar including a tutorial on how to make it at knick knacks & ric rac. The calendar covers half a sheet of paper so it’s not very large. It’s a good size for me because we don’t have a very hectic schedule but if you keep a lot on your calendar then you’ll need to print some calendars about the size of a whole piece of paper.

While I like the idea of using pictures, I decided to do use drawings made by Emma instead. There’s just something genius about children’s artwork. If you have young children, grandchildren or if you know any children, get them to draw a picture for you. Children seem to generate a LOT of artwork and this will give you a way to use some of it. You can have the child draw one picture to use all year-round or have them draw a new picture each month. Emma has a set of oil pastels that she is allowed to use to make “extra-special” pictures. The combination of lighter pastels and black paper gives a nice chalkboard look.

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