Thursday, November 21, 2013

For the Love [of Cloth Diapers]

Pin from Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry

I'm pretty sure it's no secret that I love cloth diapers. bumGenius has been--hands down-- my favorite brand since I started using cloth diapers in June of 2008. We have, as a cloth diapering family, come a long way since then. We were living in an apartment- washing our diapers by hand and hanging them to dry outside the bathroom since there wasn't enough room in the bathroom for the drying rack. We have since bought a house, happily wash diapers in our he washer, and have cloth diapered 3 kids with #4 currently in newborn cloth diapers.

Ask my husband: my cloth diapers are my favorite thing.

(Which I thoroughly blame him since cloth diapering was really his idea.)

Here he is doing the bumgenius can challenge in 2012:

There are so many reasons to love cloth diapers!
Here are just a few of my personal favorites:

They save MONEY: (Why not state the obvious first)
Here is Parker, our first cloth diapered kid-- proudly sporting his limited edition two toned bG3.0 and his mommy-made bG cape in summer 2009.
I could work up a whole cloth diaper vs paper diaper cost analysis, but why reinvent the wheel? If you simply google it, a whole plethora of data can be at your fingertips- like this one.

What it boils down to: Paper diapers cost roughly $.30/diaper. That's $.30 that's literally going to get tossed away. No, thank you.

Like I said before, we started cloth diapering in 2008, when our oldest was 7mon old. We made a chart to tally off each diaper we hand washed. They quickly "paid" for themselves. We eventually stopped keeping track, but I now wish we would have kept it going.

my well loved CP obge

Cloth diapers can even make money. Some people will pay nearly double for a hard to find diaper if it's new in package. If you have the self control (which I don't) to stash some for a rainy day- it could (literally) pay off.
ie: Chelsea Perry old style elementals!

They are EASY:

Gone are the days of folding flats and using diaper pins (unless of course you want to). Changing a cloth diaper is just as easy as changing a paper diaper- The only difference is you put the soiled one into a diaper pail instead of the garbage can. (Disclaimer: You will hear a newborn crying. Poor boy was camera shy ;) Actually, he was ready to eat and wasn't into getting his diaper changed for fun)

Shout out: Thank you to my 6 year old for taking the video, my 4 year old for hand picking which diapers I should use, and my 2 year old for taking the "dirty" one right to the diaper pail. I have great helpers!

I LOVE the one size system and use it as a huge selling point when talking to people about bumgenius diapers. I never have to worry about if I have the next size of paper diapers on hand. I never have to run to the store because the paper diaper is suddenly too small (read: constant poo blow outs). It is one diaper that will last from (nearly) birth to potty training! Score.
These are the different styles of bg that we use. Newborn for the baby. Elementals on our 2 year old during the day, and 4.0s at night only. He will be potty training soon (hopefully) and will be heading into the flip trainers (also made by Cotton Babies):

They are STYLISH:

Cloth diapers are more than just diapers. They are accessories. They can easily be matched to any outfit and totally eliminate the need for those under-dress-diaper-cover-things. There are few things in life cuter than a baby in a cute tshirt, bumGenius diaper, and baby leg warmers. Have you ever seen kids at the playground (or anywhere else) and their little paper diaper is sticking out of the back of their pants? Not cute. A cute cloth diaper peeking out? Adorable. See for yourself...
Check out these beauties. All bumGenius:

They have BLESSED my life:

Dramatic? Sure. But, the cloth diaper community is really just that- a community. I have had the chance to meet some amazing moms. I had the chance to meet Kim from Dirty Diaper Laundry when she lived in CNY. I was selling some diapers in 2009 on Craigslist and we met up for the exchange. She told me about her "little" blog. Look at it now. I'm so proud of her dedication. I also had the extreme privilege of taking photos at her homebirth in Oct 2010. She is a rockstar.

I run a buy/sell/trade bumGenius facebook page in my 'spare time'. We have grown to over 7600 members!! It takes a lot of time and effort but I really do love it. My moms (and the couple of dad members) are top notch. One mom on there even threw me a little online baby shower for Baby4 complete with games and bumGenius prizes for the online guests! I felt so loved and it was so much fun.

I have also started volunteering at my local cloth diaper store- Mother Earth Baby. I do her monthly newletter, run a monthly facebook contest, and help plan the Great Cloth Diaper Change each year. Ask Lisa: I'm bumGenius' #1 fan!

Cotton Babies, makers of my favorite bumGenius brand are doing a "Mommy Blogger" Contest & I entered this article! 

photo I took for the cover photo on the bG fb group

Please leave me a comment saying what was your favorite reason I posted- or even tell me why YOU love to cloth diaper, or would have loved to, or look forward to... be creative!

Thank you so much. 

Baby Beckett appreciates the chance to win some new diapers
(poor boy #4 gets all the hand me downs)!

He has been eyeing the new prints:
My 4 boys happily in their bumGenius cloth diapers!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Birthday Party Zoom, Zooom

On Saturday we traveled to Rochester to celebrate our (only!) niece's birthday.  She turned one year old and it was a swell and big-to-do.  (Meaning, there was plenty of company and plenty of pizza, which I loved.)  Holly took pictures of the birthday girl, which I am sure she will add at some point.  I was mostly busy with monitoring the boys.  (Minus Beckett, who made the rounds with middle aged and elderly women.) Fortunately, the party was held at a large church where there was a recreation room with plenty of toys.  The boys found the toy cars, and well, the rest of the birthday party was spent in fast and furious competition.

First, Anderson wanted to get in on the action.

Then Parker snagged himself a set of wheels...

Finally, Carter grabbed a vehicle and around and around they went!  Zoom, zoom boys!

(LOL...I just noticed this after posting...if you look closely above you can see that Anderson was bored at this point and trying to make a break for it.  Maybe he heard the pizza had arrived....Zoom, zoom again!)

Monday, November 11, 2013


As I'm sitting here sipping hot cocoa out of my Boulter mug... I am editing photos of my grandma and baby Beckett. Names are special to me, and my boy's names reflect those special people in my life-- some of whom I have met and loved, and some I haven't.

Since I have boys, they will proudly carry the name Steffen their whole life. I wanted their middle names to reflect their Momma and my heritage. So, we've given each of our kids maternal maiden names for middle names. They are mostly in order except the first are switched only because we didn't want Parker to have the initials PMS. That would have been cruel.

So, baby Beckett (on Saturday) had the chance to meet his closest living namesake.

Beckett Ruster. Ruster is my grandma's mom's maiden name. It is special to my grandma, and it is special to me. Here they are, saying hello:

Gram stroked his cheek, and his little hand.

 She held him tight and told him things that I strained to hear, but couldn't make out. I made eye contact with her, and her eyes were red. I've never seen my Gram cry, and I wouldn't say she was crying then... but they were definitely having a special moment. And I had the chance to witness it. I gulped back tears and tried to savor the moment.
 I am SO. HAPPY. that my Gram got to meet Beckett Ruster, and that she loves him (as Gram and I have both said) "even if he is a boy". 

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Bedroom Divided

Usually at bedtime there is a scripted commotion in the bedroom.  Anderson is often climbing onto Parker and Carter's beds, jumping around, and sometimes even biting them for kicks. Sometimes I go up there and tell Anderson to shape up.  Other times we let Parker and Carter lay in our bed until Anderson conks out without them.  Yesterday, Parker and Carter created their own solution.

Man the Barricades!

If you look you can see that Parker and Carter built a barricade against Anderson and then bunkered down for the night.  Safe from the wrath of their pugnacious younger brother, they were able to get a good night's sleep.  And Anderson?  He was happily sprawled across his bed, his toys covering the room, pleased with himself for the territory he won.  I'm not sure who to be more proud of: Anderson for successfully claiming the majority of surface area in the room, including three beds, or Parker and Carter for their rock solid fort that Anderson was unable to topple.  And in a year and a half, when we toss Beckett in there, who knows what will happen?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Late night buddy

Carter has been coming into our bed during the night for months. He has to start in his bed but if he wakes up and needs to he can come into our bed. I have been sleeping downstairs with the baby bc of my surgery/stairs and to try to keep the rest if the house asleep. Carter now wakes up and instead of sleeping w daddy... he comes downstairs. He sleeps at the other end of the couch. When the baby wakes up he helps me by getting diapers and wipes. The other night I said my tummy hurt and her marched out and got me saltines in a bowl. He then said I should eat a popsicle so he got us both one. He is such a sweet kiddo. I am so blessed to call him mine. And I think Beckett would agree.

Friday, November 1, 2013


So here is a quick and darkly lit picture of Parker and Carter with their Halloween loot. Holly to nicer pictures with her camera before all the action with the boys all dressed up.  She hasn't put it on facebook yet though, which means I haven't been able to steal it from there for the blog.  I will edit it in as soon as I can.

In short, trick-or-treating was a rather long night!  I first did the rounds with Anderson and Carter and Parker stayed behind to help Grandma Steffen hand out candy.  (He really wanted to do it, and we had set up the craft tent and decorations with lights to make it all special in our driveway.) Anderson was at first wary of the event, but he eventually caught on.  He loved marching up to houses and getting free candy.  He stuffed a Tootsie Pop or too into his mouth before we got home.  Also, at one point some teenagers were roaming around in creepy costumes, and Anderson covered his eyes as we walked.  It was cute.

When we got back Parker joined us.  Anderson went inside to eat his loot and go to bed.  Parker, Carter, and I ended up walking around for about an hour and a half.  They boys got tired and I had to alternate carrying them and their sacks. But we made it home safe and sound soon enough.  It was a great Halloween.