Our Simple (and Frugal) Cloth Diapering System

They say third time is a charm – and that’s true for me when it comes to cloth diapering. I’m currently cloth diapering my third baby and, after lots of tweaking over the years, I love the system we use now. Cloth diapering can be overwhelming – I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent researching different products and routines. What works for my family may not work for yours, but here’s what I do now:

DIAPERS + ACCESSORIES:
We keep it super simple & use prefolds and covers for diapering.
24 small cloth-eez prefolds (We will have to get the next size up soon, but the total investment using prefolds is still very affordable)
Flip covers
1  large wetbag for home
1 small wetbag for the diaper bag
Snappi diaper fastners

Our stash allows me to do laundry every other day – but I also use disposables at night and occasionally when we are out of the house. I still cloth diaper at least 80% of the time. Snappis aren’t necessary – you can use pins or just hold the diaper in place with a cover – but I think they help get a great fit and are very easy to use.

WASHING + DRYING:
1. Dump all dirty diapers and covers into the washer and do a cold rinse. (If you are exclusively breastfeeding just throw all the diapers in – otherwise you want to rinse off poop diapers before tossing them in)
2. Add detergent. We use the full recommended amount of Tide for the load size. Which detergent and how much seem to vary a lot in the cloth diapering community, but this is what works best for us.
3. Wash on hot with an extra rinse.
4. Hang covers to dry and toss prefolds in the dryer (or hang them outside if it’s nice out!)

There ya go. An easy way to cloth diaper with a limited budget!

Do you cloth diaper? Feel free to post your favorite products below!

 

 

 

30 Day Social Media Fast 

Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m a bit of a social media addict. Like most people I find myself caught up in the world of “likes” “follows” and “notifications”. So why did I decide to go 30 days without social media? IT STEALS MY JOY. Minimalism isn’t just about physical clutter – it’s about mental clutter. For me, social media is a big source of mental clutter. It takes away from quality time from my kids and husband causing our relationships to suffer. My house suffers. It sets a bad example. My oldest loves TV. He’d watch it all day, everyday, if I let him – but children should spend their time outdoors, building things, and fostering their imagination. I believe the best way to instill the values my husband and I want for our children is to lead by example. So I said “goodbye” to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I deleted all apps from my phone and focused on what was right in front of me for 30 days.

What did I learn? Well, it was easier than I thought it would be. It forced me to – gasp – pick up the phone and call my friends. Instead of just following the highlight reels of the people I care about, I reached out – spent time with or had a real conversation with them. I lived more in the moment and less behind a screen. I said “yes” to my kids more. Overall, it was a huge success and I definitely recommend it! I’ve been back on social media for 3 weeks and while I think I do a much better job of having a healthy balance it’s still a slippery slope! I see more “social media fasts” in my future. It’s important to slow down and be present!!

Would you go an extended amount of time without social media? Have you done it before? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought about it! 

Hysterectomy?

I suppose this blog will be taking on another topic – at least temporarily. Tomorrow I meet with my doctor to discuss getting a hysterectomy. 

I had my first abnormal pap in February 2014 while I was pregnant with my second child. I was diagnosed with HPV, but everything was fine at my postpartum visit. In April 2016, while pregnant with my third, I had my second abnormal pap followed by a colposcopy. This time I had high grade cervical dysplasia. CIN 3 with glandular involvement for those familar with this sort of thing. Last month I had a LEEP procedure  (where my doctor removed part of my cervix) and then the phone call – my doctor wants me to come in to discuss a vaginal hysterectomy. 

I didn’t even know what questions to ask so I hung up the phone and began the three week wait until I could be seen. I was blind sided. We’re done having babies so I should be fine, right? On good days I am. Other days it just hits me. Surgery and recovery with three small kids at home? I’m scared. I’m mad. I’m exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old who, as of now, WILL NOT take a bottle. I’m stuck in this weird limbo – knowing I have to take care of myself to take care of my children and still hating that I will have to accept help and not be there for them fully for a few weeks.

So for one more day I keep waiting – and hope tomorrow brings some sort of peace and understanding of the whirlwind the last several months have been.

Five years of marriage ❤

My husband and I weren’t supposed to get together. He was a friend of an ex of mine and, according to him back then, we had nothing in common. We spent months convincing ourselves, and each other, how terrible of an idea dating would be – but in the end we both made each other happy and decided to give it a shot.

Less than a year later we found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant and got married days after our one year dating anniversary. In the 5 years since then we had two little boys, my husband graduated college and got a job that moved us from the only state – and all the people – we’d ever known, and welcomed a baby girl this past November.

We’ve kept busy. Life is busy. Today marks 5 years of marriage. When we got married we talked about traveling to Napa Valley for our five year anniversary – seeing the West Coast and drinking expensive wine. Instead, I’m sitting on the couch nursing our 3 month old. My 4 year old is in his room for the 3rd time today – this time for hitting his brother with a train track. My two year old fell off a chair and busted his lip and nose an hour ago.

That’s the reality of married life (at least married life with kids!). Except, it’s actually quite wonderful. My husband worked from home today and in the midst of all the commotion, as I reached my breaking point for the day – or more like the week, he wrapped his arms around me and that moment showed  what I already know – he is my safe place.

Marry your best friend and you won’t ever regret it. Marry someone who makes ordinary life better than your dream vacation – or at least close to it (let’s be real, I could use a trip to California!).

Happy anniversary babe. There’s no one I’d rather do life with.