The Good Mother

The house is small.
                Dirt is creeping in.
                               Dust is piling up.
        Dishes are stacking.
                     Laundry is climbing.
Tempers and Tears.
Eyes that are heavy and dark.
Not mine.
Not me.
I leave.
I come back.
I play.
I escape.
I succeed.
                                                                    I fail. 
Today I am Good.
Not the Best or the Worst.
I gave all that that I had 
                                 that could be given 
                                                          when it was needed.
                                          
I am Good.

Clothing Diapering – The Down and Dirty

So we’ve been loving cloth diapers, or at least I can say “I” have been enjoying cloth diapers.  The hubs just used his first one and grandma’s going to give them a shot the net time she watches the boy.  Like I said before our dollars and cents savings with starting this late in the game is probably going to make us come up about even because we’ve been able to use the cheap diapers that are available for 100+ for $27.  However, we’re banking on being able to use these at least one more time and if they’re still in good condition either hand them down or donate to them to charity.
I thought I’d share some of the details in our journey so far and break down the numbers.
The first leg of the journey ended with me finally finding a baby centered store in my area that does not end in “R’US”, not that we even have that.  I was luck to find a “Birth, Baby and Beyond” store in the city just north of us and it was well worth the drive.  The store had examples and samples for me to really get my hands on, along with a multitude of other breastfeeding, babywearing, natural mothering type products.  The owner is a doula herself and seems very committed to many of the “natural”, “crunchy” or “attachment” parenting ideas that I gravitate towards.  She also runs classes and playgroups out of the store, which I am determined to travel up to at least once a month now.
After rummaging through all the samples I left the store with 2 BumGenius One Size Flip covers, 5 Stay Dry Inserts and a roll of disposable liners.  My total came out to around $78 – a little on the expense side, but worth it to support a local business and not have to wait for shipping.
After trying the Flips for a few days I was already sold.  I felt good about this choice and though the cloth diapers are bulkier I feel like they’re more comfortable and baby skin friendly.  So I journeyed over to Ebay.
I hunted on Ebay for about two days looking at what type of items were available and watching for how much certain items went for.  After feeling like I had a good idea from this basic research I set up my own rules for Ebay bidding.  They were as such:
  • No No-name BrandsI searched for brands I felt I trusted and looked for tags and other giveaways that I wasn’t getting an imposter.
  • Constant Vigilance I looked closely at the pictures offered and made sure that what I saw in the pictures matched the descriptions offered.
  • Read the Fine Print I looked for product descriptions in which the seller admitted they’d only used the diapers for X amount of months, only at night or “tried it and it didn’t work for our family”.  Even though I was buying used diapers I still wanted to acquire a good quality product.  Also check to see that the seller offers to ship items within X-days of payment to insure a timely delivery.
  • Bid CarefullyBefore placing my first bid I determined the maximum amount I was willing to pay.  This ranged from about $10-$12 dollars per diaper.  I put in my offer at my Max Amount x Number of diapers and factored in shipping into the total if it was more than $1-2 per diaper.
  • Bid Oddly When the final day of bidding came up and if I was still the highest bidder I would up my offer by a few dollars and odd cents.  If my max bid was set at $50, I would up the max to something odd like $53.78.  This way if someone was playing “sniper” they would have a harder time outbidding me by a few cents in the last 30 seconds.  I did loose one bid this way, loosing by 18 cents because I kept my max bid low and assumed I was in the clear.
  • Bid Widely and LowlyTo ensure that I won at least a few items I bid on 10 auctions, the auctions that weren’t set to end for more than 4 days I’d bid low on the items that way I could easily be outbid if I won early items and filled my quota.  Turns out I won 3 auctions in the first 3 days and let my last 4 auctions be out bid this way.
 After less than a week of Ebay-ing I had won three auctions and drastically increased my cloth diaper stock for a fraction of the cost.  Here’s the breakdown (*Shipping and Handling Not Including, because it would be equal to a couple drives to my nearest BB&B store*)
  • Lot #1 – 11 Stay Dry Inserts, 4 BumGenius One Size 3.0 Pocket Diapers 4 Newborn Inserts/Doublers 3 insert socks, 2 Snappies *I actually got these last 3 items as a surprise as they were included in my package, but not mentioned in the description.  This was my “tried it, didn’t like it” auction and I feel like the seller just wanted to get rid of everything* Total without shipping = $50.  This was my far my best deal, particularly when adding all the “freebies”
  • Lot # 2 – 6 “Excellent Used Condition” BumGenius 3.0 All-In-Ones Size Large – The seller was spot on in the descriptions and I was very pleased with these. Total without shipping = $56
  • Lot # 3 –  5 BumGenius 3.0 All-In-Ones Size Large – Another great purchase, seller was spot on with descriptions.  Total without shipping = $54
  • Total for Used Ebay Diapers without shipping = $160
  • 35 Items Purchased – 
    • 11 BumGenius 3.0 AIO
    • 4 BumGenius 3.0 One Size Pocket Diapers
    • 11 Stay Dry Inserts
    • 4 Newborn Inserts/Doublers
    • 3 Insert Socks
    • 2 Snappies
      • Cost per item Approx. $4.57 or
        • $7/diaper (normally 17.95 – 19.95)
        • $3/insert ( normally 4.99)
        • $2/sock (normally 2.99)
        • $2/snappie (normally 3.95)
  • Purchase Price if bought new from Cottonbabies.com without shipping
    •  a Grand Total of = $332.55
So here’s how I see it a total (Ebay + Store Purchase) of $238 spent on the materials to cloth diaper one child is a bit of a killing, $238 to cloth diaper two children is down right amazing (Note: if these are used on a second we will have to invest in some smaller sized diapers, but not many).  While it might be daunting to come up with a few hundred dollars to spend on diapers at the beginning the savings are amazing.  If you cloth diaper from the beginning and source out cheaper, good quality used diapers you can easily diaper that child for a 1/4 of the cost of disposables.
I’m so glad we made this choice.  It just feels right for us, perhaps it will be right for you!

Reads and Seeds

The warm weather this week finally got under my skin and I’ve been out collecting like crazy.

 A selection of this years seeds – 3 types of tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, basil, sweet corn, kaleidoscope carrots, green onions, “fairytale” pumpkins (not shown are the radishes, lettuce, beans and a few others from Seed Savers Exchange that I forgot to pick up from Mom’s to “study”)

This year I have the opportunity to oversee two garden spaces – one at my house and one at my parents.  I’m taking advantage of the fact that we still have more than a month before our guaranteed “frost free” date to do a little more planning.

 

I’ve also been bit by the book bug (say that three times fast) with the new discovery that Henry has finally developed a moderate interest in “storytime”.  At least he likes being read to and will occasionally crawl into my lap and looking a picture or try to turn a page while he plays in his room.  While I love to support my local library, I also love to have a library of my own and have been taking advantage of the resell shops in town to pick up some classics for $.50 – $1.00 per book.

One of the best parts being that I get to rediscover all the books I read as a child, or had read to me.  It’s really magic.

Our latest editions seen in these pictures.  Each title is linked if you’d like to discover more about the book!