7QT: Books and Spring and Such

02 May 2014

Joining Jen for my third link-up in as many days. 

- 1 -
I had to break from my typical only-online reading regimen for book club this week (without the kiddos!!!) Like a good book club comprised almost entirely of Catholic mothers, we read a Flannery O'Connor short story - changing it up from Evelyn Waugh. It was the second time I'd made it to book club since the move to Houston, and I loved getting to use and hear college words like "unreliable narrator" and "opposition of matter and spirit" and "mechanism."

- 2 -
Far cry from my the warblings of my almost three year old which today sounded like this:

Jake (having dropped his spoon): Help me! I want help! HELP!!
Me: How do you ask nicely?

- 3 -
Teaser for next week: We finally have bees again! Huzzzzzzzzzzzzah!

- 4 -
The Houston weather is showing these California transplants some mercy and being just gorgeous. Nothing is so beautiful as spring.

Except for the whole unrequited love part.

- 4.5 -
This spring is also seasoned by a beautiful garden that seems immune to my black thumb. We are two cucumbers into our harvest.

Unfortunately I think cucumbers are about as exciting as iced water. Hopefully some heirloom tomatoes and hefty butternuts will be mine before I run out of my newfound gardening luck.

- 5 -
It's been too long since we talked cloth diapering on the blog, so I'll update you with some pleasantries. Jake's night diaper greeted me with some serious ammonia yesterday morning, so I broke out the stock pot and heated up some water for a good ole fashioned strip fest. (Jake: Why are we cooking diapers?)

We were blessedly ammonia free until Jake was two years old, and since then I've had to strip the diapers every 3-4 months. I'd love to hear some of the washing (and/or stripping) routines of those of you who cloth diaper. How often do you wash your dipes? What detergent do you use? HE or top loader? Prewashes? Rinse cycles? You know, that sort of thing. I don't like to admit how seriously I take the task of diaper washing.

- 6 -
When life gets crazy and all the balls you have in the air start falling to the ground in a heap of dirty dishes, moldy bathtubs, and extra Curious George episodes, what's the last ball you keep in the air?

I just told you mine. When life gets messy, my diapers still get clean. It's mostly because the routine is so ingrained, but it's also about control. I'm environmentally conscious and frugality is a second religion, but it's really just about having that one thing I can control. I certainly have to let that ball drop too sometimes and I think that's probably healthy.

So what's yours? What's your last semblance of hanging in there? Are your nails done? Is your bed made? Is your bookshelf alphabetized? Spill.

- 7 -
Between book club and the super super exciting publication of Jen's memoir over at Conversion Diary, I've decided to call this week: Something Other Than Blogs

I almost had to call this week: Something Other Than Something Other Than God because I still hadn't received my copy and was getting royally antsy over here, but then it came! Like ten minutes ago! So I'm off to go Instagram a picture of me with it!

Now go visit Jen's for more takes and to wish her a hard-earned congratulations!


  1. So, I was just eating a delightful cucumber last night and thinking, hooray for cucumber weather! And you know how I feel about water!

    1. I see now how that comparison had Ruth written all over it.

  2. I agree with you on #4 - spring is just so beautiful. And I think home-grown cucumbers would be exciting, but perhaps that's because I can't grow any vegetables to speak of here in NYC. Maybe someday! :)

  3. Oooo. Fancy! A bilingual baby. I grew up eating cucumbers drowned in lime juice, salt an chili powder. Because Mexican.

    And I love a good diaper conversation. My girlfriends husband texts me on an off about washing routines. I'm boring and I just use the regular Tide we get from Costco. I used the fancy stuff when it was just me and Ian, but since the addition, I'm shocked by the amount of laundry. His skin doesn't seem to bothered by it, so we keep on using it. Almost a year in, and no stripping necessary yet. How do you strip yours?

    Also, (because I'm apparently blogging in your comments now), my last ball this week? My nails. Toes are hot pink and fingers are robins egg blue. I usually take more care in my color choices, but this week I was just glad to get it done.

    1. I just boil mine to strip them and so far it's done the trick. This is an option because we only use prefolds - I even use prefolds to stuff my pocket diapers - so I don't have to worry about boiling PUL.

    2. Ah yes. We have a couple of microfiber diapers, but we mainly use flats.

    3. Flats!? Really? Do you fold them yourself? I bought a dozen or so flats when Jake was born because they come clean so easy, but I never reached for them over the prefolds, so I've retired them to window cleaning and the like.

    4. For some weird reason, I'm not getting notifications of your responses. I'm just creeping back here. But now I see the little check box to notify me.

      We were on a super tight budget when we had to go up a size in prefolds. I was worried we would have to size up two more times so I went with flats. I bought too many, and now I realize that I have a "petite" baby and he probably won't need to size up by the time potty training comes around. This is my life.

  4. When I night diapered my last 2-3 year old, I remember rinsing the diapers out first thing in the morning (I used prefolds with a doubler and a wool cover). I used Tide liquid, and I did a wash on the sanitizing setting with an extra rinse. I never had any ammonia problems. What is your routine like?

    1. Pre wash Bac Out. Hot Wash with Country Save and an extra rinse. Every few weeks I'll run an extra wash with Washing Soda to help break up build up. When I had a front-loader I had to do several rinse cycles to get the soap out. It was quite tedious.

      I've never used Tide but I know a lot of CDers who do. My friend just gave me some (when she had to switch to HE detergent) and so now that I have some I might try it on my dipes and see. Did your diapers smell like Tide? We only have issues with night diapers, rinsing them out in the morning is a really good idea.

  5. Firstly: Jealous my copy still has not shown ~ maybe tomorrow
    Secondly: Spring was my favorite season too when we lived on Houston
    Lastly: Making my bed and getting dressed are my last hold-outs, if those happened all is not lost.

  6. First, I love that you used the word huzzah! It's definitely an underused word. Second, I wash my diapers every other day. Just a rinse cycle or soak cycle on my ancient machine from the 80's & then a regular wash. I use bumgenius detergent & haven't had a problem with smell...yet.

    1. "Huzzah" - agreed.

      I will credit your ancient machine with helping you avoid stink issues. We had a fancy apt size frontloader when we first started CDing, sure it agitated, but it couldn't get things rinsed for sh**. Now we have a bertha of an old toploader we scored off CList and I LOVE it.

  7. Got my book this week, too! Laundry is the bane of my existence. Because 4 smelly, sweaty boys. On the days where I can actually get ALLLLL the hampers empty, laundry washed, folded and put away? Seems like I have achieved Mom-nirvana.

  8. Floors. Floors are my link to sanity. I vacuum the main living area anytime I feel like I'm behind on life. So it gets vacuumed 3-5 times a week. Sometimes 7. Or 10. I can't STAND walking on a dirty kitchen floor, so that gets done a lot too.

    On the diapers, I'm not sure what your type nor routine is, but we have pre-folds. I do a cold-rinse with baking soda, then a hot wash with Shaklee's laundry detergent with a squirt of their Basic H. Then I do another hot rinse. Viola.

  9. oh, and top loader. I did NOT like our front loader with my diapers

  10. Cloth diapers have always been the most intimidating thing to me, so I have no input on that whole quick take!

    But I do love #6, I think it's good as a stay at home mom to always have something to focus on, even when life is blurry and dirty. Mine is either a bath at night alone or vacuuming. Even if the vacuum is pushing toys around I always run it (usually multiple times a day). I like the floors being semi clean which feels like a great accomplishment with 2 boys ages 3&1, a dog and the sand pit we call a yard...

  11. #6: Mascara. I have to be DEATHLY ill not to be wearing it and I'll make sure to have some on even if the rest of my life is publicly and privately in shambles so that at least my eyelashes have some dignity.

  12. I'm late to the conversation, but I have something to add. I used to have to strip my diapers with my first daughter - but I haven't with my second. The difference is that I throw a downy ball with vinegar in it in every load of cloth diapers that I wash. This, for us, made all the difference in the world!

    1. I've heard that you're not supposed to use vinegar with hard water, but then one of my readers said it worked great with her super hard water. I think we have hard water, so I'm hesitant to make vinegar a staple of our routine. Do you know how soft your water is?

  13. Late to the conversation here, but I wash every other day. We use mostly BumGenius or Blueberry AIOs, but use pockets at night because my son pees through the AIOs overnight. Anyway, I do cold rinse, hot wash with Country Save, cold rinse. We have front loaders, which I loathe and despise, but my house is 100 years old with no space for a laundry room so they are stacked in what used to be a coat closet. If I got top loaders, they wouldn't fit anywhere but the dining room. Even though that would be a really "unique" home decor statement, I decided to suck it up with the front loaders.


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