Throgs' Neck Mom: Learning new ways to "Mom" everyday…

Babes in Cloth
August 21, 2010, 3:55 am
Filed under: cloth diapers, Going Green, Photos

I’ve been cloth diapering my two youngest children for one year this month.  My older son, who just recently turned three, is on his way  to  being fully potty trained and out of cloth diapers.  My baby, who is eighteen months has been wearing cloth diapers from the time he was six months old.

I began cloth-diapering after a close friend of mine initiated cloth with her daughter who suffers from severe exzema.  I don’t know what made me follow her lead exactly but I have pinned it down to a few factors: 1) My desire to be “green” and eco-friendly, 2) An eager effort to save money, 3) My love of fabric and textiles, and 4) Seeing my sons wearing their cloth, looking too cute and knowing how much more comfortable it was for them.

The past year of cloth-diapering my boys has been quite an adventure.  I started out with G-diapers because I felt a hybrid diaper would be an easier transition from disposables to cloth.  They were fun and definitely adorable but a little messy when my boys pooped.  After my first encounter with seeing my friends’  pockets diapers in person–I had to have some!! I went ahead and ordered a few Bum Genius 3.0’s and I loved them!  They were so much like a disposable only I had to wash them–which I absolutely loved doing because cloth diapers came out smelling so clean and fluffy–in the beginning. (I will devote my cloth diapers laundry excursions to a separate post)  Over the past year my collection has grown and I own a variety of nappies.  In addition to the G-Diapers and Bum Genius’s my boys have had the opportunity of wearing: Bummis pre-folds with Thirsties Duo wraps, Thirsties Pocket All-in-Ones, Fuzzibunz, Happy Heiny’s, Bum Genius Bamboo fitteds, Thirsties Fab-Fitted, Bum Genius Organic All-in-one (my favorite daytime diaper, and I have recently added Grovia Hybrids(which are nice!).

I have pretty much lost count but I believe I own about 30/35 diapers.   It was pretty easy to rationalize the purchasing of cloth diapers in the beginning because it was costing me over $100/month to diaper both of my sons in disposables.  To cut my expenses even more I took a few flannel receiving blankets, cut them up into squares and ta-da –cloth wipes!!  Now that my 3 year old is transitioning away from cloth diapers and into underwear (I am proud of him), I am beginning to feel sad.  I realize my (last) baby, at eighteen months is not too far from the same milestone. I will miss cloth diapering them greatly and hope to somehow inspire others to cloth diaper in the future.


To Nurture With Nature
October 8, 2009, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Actvities for the kids, Going Green

When the weather turns cool here in the Bronx and our leaves are just beginning to transform we pack the kids in the car, each with their own warm blanket and take a weekend trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in the Adirondacks to enjoy Autumn a little sooner then the rest of the New York City.  My husband hunts, so for him it marks the beginning of hunting season. In preparation, he starts to pull together his Mossy Oak gear, read hunting literature and engage the little ones in conversations about hunting.  (My daughter wants to go hunting when she is twelve but “not to shoot anything just to watch Daddy”).   Hunting is an age-old tradition so, for the most part, I approve.  After all, we’ve descended from a long line of hunters and gatherers.

For myself, on our journey to the country, I am on a lookout for pumpkins, good photo opportunities, craft inspiration and colorful leaves.    This year I managed to accomplish each: found some nice $3 pumpkins at Save-a-Lot, discovered Sun Classic powder laundry detergent to use on my cloth diapers at a Dollar General, took a few beautiful Fall photos, and yes I also found some inspiration.

Mostly, the trip is for the children.  By driving four hours north with them we have found a way to nurture them with nature. It is in the Adirondacks that they break free from the confines of our sidewalk fence and are allowed to explore the entire seven acres of property.  They are surprised that the pond which just a few weeks before was warm enough to swim in is now icy water– my daughter wants to know why I “forgot” her bathing suit. Instead of swimming in the pond they harvested rocks and threw them in.  My son loves the gentle ‘Coon Hound that lives with Grandma and Grandpa and takes her for walks with Grandma along the stream at the back of the property.   This year my daughter collected leaves, berries and wildflowers and turned them into a collage for her kindergarten teacher.    This was my baby boy’s first Autumn in the Adirondack air and at eight months old the experience for him was to breathe in the earthy aroma of the woods and feel the brisk country air on his cheeks.

The next time we venture North it will be wintertime and my children will once again witness the transformation of the property.  We look forward to their surprised eyes when they discover that the colorful leaves on the trees have been replaced by icicles, the pond resembles a skating rink, and the stream is buried beneath layers of snow.

September 18, 2009, 3:54 am
Filed under: Going Green

Four years, eight months, and eighteen days ago I gave birth to my first child.  Like most first time moms I wanted the best of everything for my brand new baby girl—especially clothes.  At my baby shower I was presented with a  complete wardrobe for the first six months of her life.  When she was born family brought more gifts of brand-new clothes.  Then three months later I returned to work so that I could buy her even more brand new clothes.  To me, there was nothing better than seeing her in a brand new Gap dress or the latest pair of Stride Rite shoes.

Two and a half years later something changed: I gave birth to my second child, a boy.  I knew that with two children I would not be able to afford childcare.  I would not be able to drop two children off at daycare, go to work and bring home a nice healthy paycheck without handing most of it over to “child-care providers”.  I decided to stay home with my children and develop a budget.

Lucky for me, my best friend, had already been a stay at home mom for two years and was a bit more savvy to a budget that did not involve Gap tags and full-priced Stride Rite shoes(not that she didn’t buy these items just that she never paid full price for them—an aha moment for me).  She has a son who is a little younger than my daughter and her daughter was born one week after my son.  We decided to do a clothing swap—her boy baby clothes for my girl baby clothes.


My first “shipment” arrived in three large diaper boxes and included an entire infant boy’s layette plus clothes that ranged from 3/6 months size to twelve months.  I could not believe it!  I would not need to clothes shop for my son for an entire year!  This meant hundreds of dollars in savings.

So for the past two years I happily package up my daughter’s clothes as she outgrows them and send them to my good friend. I receive her son’s outgrown clothes in return.  My first son is two years old now and I could probably count using the fingers on one hand the amount of times I’ve clothes shopped in a store for him.(I “shop” in his closet where I store all of these hand-me-downs)   My second boy is seven months old and I enjoy dressing him in the same clothes that have managed to survive two babies before they’ve arrived to him.

The best part? Seeing her two year old daughter in my little girl’s clothes and realizing that my oldest baby was once small enough to fit in them.