Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Try-it Tuesday - Home Diaper Rash Remedy

Ok, it hasn't been a secret that we've been battling diaper rash on and off for the past couple of months. The Chewy Tot's bum will start to get a little better, and then before I know it, it's all raw again. :( So, in conversation with my sister, she mentioned that when she had the same problem with one of her boys - our Grandma told her to use burnt flour. She said my reaction was pretty much like hers... Burnt Flour? Really? I've never heard of that...it sounds totally ridiculous, and if it really worked, wouldn't I have heard about it before now?

Well, everything else we had tried would start to get better, but then just not quite heal up - and cause another flare up. I was ready to try anything, and on Thanksgiving, my sister reminded me again, and how it had worked for her. So, that night, I put about 1/2 cup of white flour in a cast iron skillet, and started cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat. It took about 5-10 minutes to get it to a dark tan color (about the color of a brown paper sack), and I was constantly stirring and scraping it from the bottom of the pan. WARNING - it does STINK!

The next morning, I starting using it on the rash - using a pretty hefty pinch and rubbing it right on the sores. (I use about a teaspoon each change.) Within a couple of changes - we could already see dramatic improvements! What I really noticed - was the flour was keeping his sores DRY. There was a dry layer of flour still against his skin. The other flour that does get wet, isn't gluey either like I thought it would be - I'm guessing that is because of cooking it.

We have now been using it for a few days and he is almost totally healed up, the smaller sores are all better already. He also doesn't freak out for diaper changes like he had started to (he knew it was going to hurt!) so those are about back to normal, except for the addition of the flour - which is MUCH easier than trying to smear any cream on!

We did switch to disposable inserts or disposable diapers while we are on the heavy doses of the flour - I just don't want to risk gumming up the pocket diapers. Now that we are mostly healed - I am hoping to start to just use a sprinkle of the flour until we are totally healed - and with the smaller amount, I think I will just use a liner in my pockets - and not worry about a little bit of flour if it gets through.

Overall, I am totally AMAZED at the success of the burnt flour, and surprised that it isn't something that I had heard more about. I think it's a great "chewy" choice since it's cheap, single ingredient, and "homemade".

I let my sister know how well it worked, and I got the same response that I'm sure she got from Grandma White twenty-some years ago... "I told you so!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mish Mash Monday

While most people are aware it is Cyber Monday - I understand it is also National Chocolates day (I don't know if that means you should or shouldn't poke holes in the bottom to see what is on the inside - I'm in favor of springing for custom mixes so I know I like them all!) If you aren't a fan of chocolates - you'll have to check out National Chocolate Day,or National Bittersweet Chocolate Day, or National Chocolate with Almonds Day, or National Milk Chocolate Day... (you get the idea) on their respective days during the rest of the year. Evidently it is also Lemon Cream Pie day too.

Considering the Chewy Tot has starting dragging things around the house (I was folding laundry today and he started pulling a pair of Mr. Chewy's pants on the hanger around.) I think it's a good thing we got him a pull toy for Christmas! I can't believe I'm so excited about a simple kid's toy -but I hope he likes this one! We got this Plan Sorting Bus at Little Padded Seats at their Black Friday Sale. Always thrilled to support a small , local business - but even more when it's a great sale! I'd love to tell you what we got the Chewy Kid for Christmas... but he subscribes to the blog - so I'd better not!

For a video this week -- I think it's time for a classic Christmas tune....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Friday - Christmas Traditions

Advent starts on Sunday - wow! This year we are hoping to be more intentional with some of our preparations - and hopefully creating some new and meaningful family traditions (as well as continuing some!) in the process.

One thing we have already done is collect items for and deliver our Operation Christmas Child boxes. We will have the opportunity to track our boxes and see where they go this year. What a great way to show the Christmas spirit - buying gifts and sharing the love of Christ with people we will never meet.

We will probably get out the Christmas tree this Sunday afternoon. Over the past several years we have purchased a Christmas ornament on our family vacation. Looking forward to adding a Disney Cruise Line ornament this year! It's always fun to talk about and remember the vacations when we put them on the tree. Maybe this year we'll be able to laugh about the "Cackler Curse" of illness when we put the Animal Kingdom Lodge ornament on the tree... maybe...

I know we are hoping to do some more baking this year - I'm hoping we can share with friends and family too.

What are some of your traditions? Any particular recipes we should try? Stories? etc.?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is able to take some time to reflect on what they are thankful for - I am ever so thankful for my family, my salvation, my home, my job, and of course, the internet! :D

Thanksgiving at the Chewy house usually means a bit of a slower morning, and making a side dish or two to take to my family for Thanksgiving dinner - and then the craziness and fun that comes from a lot of people getting together to talk and eat! The chewy tot is the youngest participant, and with him being especially mobile this year - I'm sure it won't be dull at all! After dinner, we head over to Mr. Chewy's dad's house to watch football. It makes for a busy day - but it's tradition!

And, a little bit of Muppet Thanksgiving humor...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Post #100

Wow -- a hundred posts - I don't know which is more amazing, that I've come up with 100 things I've wanted to share, or that people actually read them...

I have enjoyed sharing random thoughts about the family, our activities, and why we do what we do. I have also enjoyed and gleaned wisdom from your comments as well (and if you don't leave comments (either here or on Facebook) why not? It's never to late to start.

The next month is going to be a bit crazy, but I am hoping to post when I can. As always, I'm open to ideas - let me know if there is anything you think I should tackle here!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Family Friday - vacation

A quick photo overview of our recent vacation!

Water and beach play!

Finding our first "International" Geocache!

Great Food!

Getting out and exploring new places...

Interacting with wildlife...

and of course, grabbing some rest whenever, and wherever we could!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Talk back Tuesday - Diaper rash

Ok, now that all of the non-parents have tuned out - we're talking diaper rash, and I want to know what has worked for you to get rid of it! We went a year before we got our first diaper rash, and now I'm having a hard time getting it gone! Give me your homemade cream recipes, tips, favorite over the counter remedies, and anything else to help us get through this - I've got one unhappy Chewy tot - and that makes for an unhappy mama.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Monday

Is it really Monday again already? That week went speedy fast!

A blog I want to point out this week is Minnis Moments. My friend Kim is a super creative (and frugal!) SAHM who is always coming up with great projects for her kids and her house without breaking the bank. Check out her blog for some easy, creative ideas!

Ok, my frugal friends -- seems there is pretty low interest in my "Rockin' Green" giveaway... hmmm, free soap? What's holding you back? Check out the details and enter for your chance to get some great (and free!) laundry detergent here.

Pretty exciting news at the "Chewy" house this week for Mr. Chewy... many of you know that I'm a Disney fan -- well, Mr. Chewy is even more so! His e-book about Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World has been printed by the publisher and will be on sale in early 2011 -- however, if you just can't wait - you can pre-order at Amazon, or order the e-book directly from the publisher at Passporter.com. He also joined the blog team at www.mouseguest.com and will be contributing regularly there as well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Try-it Tuesday - Rockin' Green!

(For those of you who don't wash diapers, please read on, this is a great detergent for all laundry too!)

When I decided to cloth diaper the chewy tot - -as I did my research, one question that kept popping up was "What laundry detergents are safe for cloth diapers?" I had been using pretty much whatever "free and clear" detergent was on sale (or coupon/sale combo!). My diaper manufacturer said that my detergents were ok, just to use less - so that's what we did. However, after awhile I would notice a funky smell coming from my drier....soap buildup. Yes, I was doing an extra rinse, yes I reduced the amount of detergent even more, and the only thing that would take care of it -- stripping them by washing 3 more times after the detergent cycle to get out all the soap. That's a lot of water, and a lot of time for washing diapers. ***Curious if you have soap buildup in your diapers or other laundry? Take a few clean diapers (or if you don't do the diaper thing a few of your clean bath towels will work) and toss them in the washer without any soap/detergent. Part way through the initial wash cycle take a peek...do you see any soap suds or residue? If you do, you've got buildup.***

I started researching different "cloth friendly" diaper detergents. I came upon the Rockin' Green website - and this video convinced me to give Rockin' Green a try.

About this time I also needed to order some other items I can't get locally, so with the Rockin' Green I qualified for free shipping from Diapershops.com. Once it arrived (of course the morning after I did laundry!) I got ready to "Rock a Soak" which is what they recommend to get the stinkies out. I did a pre-rinse of my diapers and then set the washer for a hot wash, filled it up - put double the amount of soap in, let it agitate for a couple of minutes and then stopped the machine and just let it soak for a few hours. (OK, I would go in and have it agitate a minute or so every hour.) When done, I let it rinse, did another cycle without soap - and into the drier (or on the line for some of the covers) everything went.

When I opened the drier -- I must say it was not totally funk free, but it was so much better, I was sold, and since we've had a few laundry days since then, the funk is pretty much gone! Also, I have greatly reduced my extra rinses. In fact, I'm not sure I even have to do the single "extra" rinse setting on my washer. If I go in during the rinse cycle and look at the water, it's CLEAR!

One thing I was a bit unsure about with Rockin' Green was the different scents. Really? If it rinses clean (ie. no smell) what is the point of scented detergent? Well, it may sound silly, but it makes my laundry closet "happy". I love the smell when I open it up, and it makes me smile. I think it also makes the whole room (the laundry closet is in the "boys" bathroom :) ) smell a bit better! You also purchase specific formulas based on your water type (Hard Rock, Classic Rock, or Soft Rock). It's so logical, you wonder why no one else does it!

Right now we are primarily using the Rockin' Green on diapers (although it is what we packed for our vacation laundry) while I use up the rest of our other detergent, however, I anticipate going to primarily Rockin' Green once we exhaust that supply.

I will say it is a bit more expensive per load -- however, I feel like the cost has been worth it - if for no other reason, I'm using a lot less water and energy by not needing all those extra rinses. It's also made in the USA and phosphate, dioxin, animal product, and petroleum free.

For those of you in the Des Moines area - Little Padded Seats in Valley Junction is now carrying Rockin' Green, and have sample sizes for sale if you just want to give it a try. I was in the other day and had fun using the scent testers available to check out the different scents available.

So, it's been awhile since I've done a review - but as always:

What I really like about Rockin' Green
  • Has cut the time I spend doing diaper laundry in half by eliminated excessive rinses
  • The scents make me smile
  • Small business with a sense of humor (and great use of puns)
  • A detergent I can use on EVERYTHING (also worked well for some handwashing on vacation, and have heard it's a great carpet cleaner too!)
  • Great customer service -- questions answered quickly whether through website, or on Facebook fan page
  • I can get the type that is formulated for my water
Things about Rockin' Green that aren't always so great
  • As a small company experiencing fast growth, there are occasionally growing pains - but they continue to be less and less (a specific formula or scent out of stock for awhile, etc.)
  • Not always easily available (although we now have it local here in DM!) If you need to order online - you need to plan ahead.
  • Because I need to either go to my Natural Parenting store, or order online, I generally end up buying more stuff ;) (OK, definitely not a RnG issue, but reality!)

The best thing? Rockin' Green has agreed to host a giveaway! One reader will win a bag (45/90 loads) of Rockin' Green in the scent/formula of their choice! Only one entry -- please visit their website: http://rockingreensoap.com/ and then leave me a comment here as to what scent you'd like to try. Please have all entries in by Midnight CST November 16th. I will use random.org to select a winner.

While Rockin' Green is providing the prize for this giveaway, I received no personal compensation, samples or product in conjunction with this review.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mish Mash Monday

Cloth diapering in the news. CBS did an "Eye on Parenting" segment on cloth vs. disposable diapering last week that was pretty much pro-disposable. Considering that the cloth diapers they showed were "old fashioned" Gerbers and they talked about using pins... To be fair, there was a quick mention of newer diapers using "velcro, snaps, or buttons" but none were shown. Well, in the comments of the online posting, the cloth diaper supporters of the world spoke, and the journalist has agreed to give modern cloth diapers a try. Check it out here, and be sure to vote in their poll as to whether you prefer cloth or disposable diapers.

Turns out November is National Peanut Butter Lover's month. Now there is a month long holiday I can get behind! I'll be looking for some new peanut butter recipes to celebrate! Check out http://www.peanutbutterlovers.com/ for some interesting recipes. Here's a simple one from our home - and a quick breakfast - take a fajita size tortilla, smear with peanut butter and wrap it around a banana. We call it an Elvis Roll Up.

Now, for a "food" product I just can't get behind and will NOT be trying anytime soon... Bacon soda from Jones Soda -- uh, just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. If you want more details or to see some interesting videos of the taste tests check it out here.

This weeks YouTube video may cause you to get a bit weepy, but in a good way... check out this 8 month old as his cochlear implants are activated and he "hears" his mom for the first time. This one has been viral for awhile- (and there have been some debates as to whether or not he was born deaf or lost his hearing) but regardless, it's beautiful.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Scripture Saturday

Going to change it up a bit today - but earlier this week I was reading in Romans -- Chapter 12 to be exact. I was really hit by verses 9-21 - in the ESV headed as "Marks of the True Christian". Phrases like "Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." (v.13) and "Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited." (v. 16)
These verses hit me pretty hard, along with reminders to not repay evil with evil and live peaceable with all. I think I can (and have) followed these, when I want to... but I'm pretty sure that the intention is NOT a "when it's convenient" sort of thing.

Most of these verses have now been printed up and are posted around our home as reminders of how we can show Christ's love both at home and in the world. I'm not going to agree with everyone out there. These verses remind me that even those that blatantly go against God's laws, I should show them goodness, without an attitude.

Now that is a challenge, but one I must take.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Five - Travel accessories

Back from the first big family vacation with the Chewy Tot. He did great - and thanks to a few items from home - it was a great success.

Snacks He ate plenty of new food - but there were times (like on the airplane) it was good to be able to pull out something familiar that I knew would be a hit. Graham crackers, saltines, and veggie puffs all made the trip. I knew I could get him to munch on these during take off and/or landings and help his ears out.

Diapers we did a mix of our Flip diaper covers with disposable inserts and some leftover Huggies Pure and Natural we had from the diaper rash incident. We used the full disposables on the flights and on excursion days. With the Flips - we hand washed out the covers and hung them to dry each night -- took about 2-3 minutes total. The Disney Cruise Line provided a diaper genie - but what they didn't provide were directions on how to use it - I think we got it figured out by the end of the week...maybe...

Toys I wasn't sure how many toys to bring along. We ended up bringing a couple of small familiar toys, a favorite book and the mini activity center that you can strap on a carseat or bouncy seat. I strapped the the little activity center on the desk drawers and it was a familiar treat. He of course also had access to his other favorite toys - tv remotes, and spoons throughout the trip.

Umbrella Stroller We already have a great, sturdy, deluxe stroller (with cupholders, and a basket to hold all our extra stuff!) But opted to purchase an inexpensive umbrella stroller for the trip. It was easy to carry when needed, and folded up and fit under the bed. We used it at the airport and gate checked it -- easy!

Ring Sling baby carrier When we were hiking, going to/from the stage shows, in buffet lines and just running about - I loved using the ring sling to keep the Tot close. I often call it my "third arm". When we spent the day at the Magic Kingdom he spent a LOT of time in the sling when we'd park the stroller. Honestly, I felt the combination of Umbrella stroller and sling was about perfect! I just might have to do an entire post about how we discovered the ring sling and how it quickly became both the Tot and my favorite carrier!

Overall, I did learn that traveling with a toddler is interesting at best - when you have the chance to let them run around (water play areas, play rooms at the airport, empty hallways, etc.) you need to GRAB IT! I also learned that I packed to much - and can go lighter next time! Overall, it was a great trip for the entire family - and wonder if it's bad that I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Monday, November 1, 2010

and... we're back!

Yes, we are home from vacation - between vacation and vacation prep it's been a bad past couple of weeks for blogging. So, now it's time to get back into the groove! In the next couple of weeks look for our favorite items for traveling with a toddler, a few vacation photos, my first giveaway and more!