Thursday, January 26, 2012


We had to postpone our last closing date, because of some confusion with our insurance... but today was the day!

We closed on our house!
We're homeowners!

Now, I just need some goats...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just in awe. How a community came together-

Two nights ago, I posted on Facebook an article for a friend that I found on positive speech and thinking when you are preparing for natural childbirth. I told her that I thought it would be great reading as she prepares for her hospital waterbirth- which will be her first drug free childbirth! (I was so excited for her- I remember how amazing my first natural birth was following my hard epidural and pitocin filled first birth... I felt SO empowered and I couldn't wait for her to feel the same kind of strength and healing!)

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. I was sitting in Starbucks with my friend Kate having a Passion Tea when I mentioned the article to her! I thought Kate would enjoy it, since she is in grad school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I mentioned that I posted it on my friend's wall and how excited I was that she was getting so close to her due time.

Kate asked me if I had seen her response to me on Facebook. No, I hadn't.

I pulled up Facebook and read her response.

The condensed version was that she was no longer planning a hospital waterbirth for a number of reasons. The hospital required there to be someone there to put up and take down the pool, within an hour of birth. The birth pool rental was more than they could afford, and if that wasn't enough, I knew already that she wished she could have a doula, but that was financially out of the question, as well.

She said that she was still planning on a natural, drug free, intervention free birth- that she could labor in the shower and bathtub at the hospital, but did not have the choice to deliver in water.

And as soon as I read that, it struck a cord in me.

I got to hire the perfect midwife. Get the awesome birth tub. Have the amazing doula. Have the fantastic birth photographer. I got to have MY perfect birth experience- a virtually pain free waterbirth and a beautiful postpartum recovery.

How lucky am I? How blessed. We could afford those things- and I had a supportive family and network of friends.

Does my friend not deserve a doula? The opportunity to give birth in water if that is what feels right to her? Why should being able to have the birth experience you long for be available to one, but financially out of reach for another?

Fast Forward...

I left Starbucks and got on the phone with my friend Jessica, who is working towards becoming certified through DONA- a doula in training... that was my first phone call. She's done a few births and I knew she could use more. I asked if she were available to attend a mother for free or reduced cost, since I knew she was already volunteering her services for teen mothers through the YWCA, but I was hoping she would be available!

Jessica immediately jumped on board and offered her services as a doula- for free.

I told her my other issue- finding a birth tub that wasn't totally unaffordable.

She mentioned that a mutual friend, Jade, had a La Bassine birth tub from her hospital water birth that she rented out occasionally. I got home, got my kids in the house, and picked up the phone to call Jade-  right then, my phone rang.

It was Jade.

I immediately launched into telling Jade what I was trying to do- find an affordable birth pool. She offered hers up immediately at no cost. All I needed to do was purchase a liner and a hose to fill it.

Do you see the puzzle pieces coming together?! By this point, I was SO excited.

Not only did we have a doula, but we had a birth pool! I decided to buy the hose and liner myself, as her baby gift from me. I called to tell her the good news!

I believe she was excited, a little overwhelmed, maybe a little shell shocked. :) She would get the opportunity to have her waterbirth... AND she had a doula. I would encapsulate for her, since I am training to be a CPES- and I offered to watch my doula friend's children and my pregnant friend's child, just to eliminate that worry, as well.

A little while later that night, Jade called me back. She told me about a mom she'd met at a breastfeeding group, who was having a hard time maintaining her supply for her 3 week old baby. She'd ordered Domperidone from Canada and was hoping it would make a difference- she was pumping like mad, taking supplements, only to get a few ounces. She is essentially supplementing formula with breastmilk- not what she wanted for her baby. Jade is already pumping for another mom, but she thought of me.

She asked if I would be willing to pump, anything was better than nothing, for this woman's baby. I said yes, absolutely.

And even better, Jade got back in touch with me again last night and told me not to buy a pool liner for our pregnant friend. The woman I am going to be providing donor milk to was giving us her pool liner (for the same kind of birth pool!), since it was unused due to her having a c-section.

So, just to recap...

In a matter of just a few hours...

A pregnant mommy went from telling me that her dream of a waterbirth was shot to having a birth pool provided, a doula volunteer her services, and a having childcare offered by the person doing her encapsulation.

A doula in training got another birth scheduled to hopefully finish her certfication- and childcare for her kids offered by the CPES in training.

The woman who offered up her birth pool found a mom to provide donor milk for a newborn whose mother was struggling to feed her.

I found a person to give milk to- and the mother of the baby I'm pumping for gave us a pool liner for my friend that is now getting to have her waterbirth with a doula!

Did you get all of that?!

Are you in awe of the power of networking as I am?

I am so proud to be part of this village of moms and birth workers...

And if my day could have gotten any better, my new Boba came.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Charlie Banana WINNER!

Sarah Elizabeth Welte is the winner of the Charlie Banana OS diaper!

I emailed you and posted on Facebook, but if you see this first (hehe) go ahead and email me your mailing address - - so I can pass it on to All About Baby Boutique!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I am so excited to see all of the new names and faces. There will be more good posts and giveaways in the future... and I am happy to cover all sorts of crunchy goodness, so let me know what you would like to see :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feeling a bit feather-brained today! (Chicken Update)

Happy Tuesday!

It was rather warm here in NC today! It was in the 50's!

I thought that it would be a good day to turn out our feathered ladies.
They have a fenced, covered run- but I know they prefer to be running around! We just have to be mindful of predators, be they the neighbor's dogs or critters in the woods.

They have finally finished molting and are back to laying!

I don't wash my eggs until time to use them, but I did go ahead and stick these in the fridge. Blue, green, pink tinted, and light brown! 4 of our 6 laying hens are clearly back in the game!

It was our first time experiencing molting AND this is our first winter with chickens- I am sure the extra darkness has affected them. We have a timed light in the coop, so they get a couple of more light hours a day. I like to think this has helped!

Right now, we have 6 hens and 4 roosters (that came from a batch of chicks that were supposed to be all pullets... good grief!), so we are planning to butcher 3 of the 4 roosters soon. They are really starting to drive me nuts, but thankfully they aren't fighting or hurting the hens- just making a bunch of racket and eating food while producing no eggs... which are both eatable offences ;)

There is a Flock Swap coming up (where people can buy, sell, or trade chickens and such) and I think I may go and see what is available. There are a few breeds of chicken I would like to have... might try my luck!

How are your chickens enjoying the cooler weather? Hanging in there?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Laundry... How do you manage it!?

Good Morning! It doesn't feel much like a Monday morning, because Keelin spent last night with her Mimi (her dad's mom) since she has no school today. I forgot to turn off my alarm, so I've been up since 6:30am!

We missed Keelin! She's our sunshine :)

The babes were watching a Thomas the Train movie while I folded laundry.


It's a 4 letter word at our house!

There are 5 of us, Finn in cloth diapers full time and Jackson wearing a couple a day still.

I love washing cloth diapers.
No joke!

But the clothes? Ugh, it's a never-ending ordeal that makes me want to become a nudist, if only to avoid the laundry!

I do a bunch of laundry a couple of days a week, but there may be a better way! How do you keep up with your laundry? Are you satisfied with your method? :) And even better, what kind of eco-conscious soap do you use?

And speaking of cloth diapers, don't forget to enter the

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Charlie Banana One Size! Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway!

I am so excited to be able to share this blog post with you!

I was given the opportunity by the amazing new baby boutique in my city and online (All About Baby Boutique)  to do a cloth diaper review and giveaway! And the diaper?

A Charlie Banana One Size pocket diaper!

I have been cloth diapering for almost 3 years now and have tried many, many diapers. But before I got my tester diaper, I had never used one of these! I went to All About Baby Boutique in Greensboro, North Carolina (Can you imagine my excitement- a local, mama owned and run store that sells cloth diapers but also has a fantastic website!) and met the owners, Sheresa and Priscilla- who, for the record, are awesome! I browsed the goods, many of them handmade, and our 3year old played in their toy room. I picked up a few things that we needed, was given the Charlie Banana One Size I was testing, and went home to start prepping! I could not wait to get this diaper on the boys!

My first impression of the diaper was that the inside (thick microfleece) is SO soft. It's what you notice immediately. I was a bit concerned that something so soft and squishy wouldn't be the same after washing. Same for the inserts, since it comes with two- a small one, perfect for our little Finn, and a longer one (medium/large), exactly what we would need for our big boy, Jackson! The inserts were the thickest I have ever seen and again, you can't help but notice how soft the inserts are. Us cloth diapering moms love some "fluff" and this diaper has it in spades... everything is so fluffy. I was really hoping that washing and drying would reveal a diaper that kept it's softness and fluffiness, unlike some diapers that are washed and immediately turn into a pilly mess or inserts that go flat. Well, I wasn't disappointed! If it was possible, the microfiber inserts got fluffier!

Big, fluffy inserts after prepping!

And guess what?! The pocket opening is big enough for this large handed mama to get my paws in there to stuff inserts. And the opening is in the front, which makes a world of difference when dealing with poopy diapers!

After the diaper and inserts were prepped, I figured I would try it on Finn, our 4 month old, first since he is in diapers full time and Jackson is potty learning and usually only wears them out and about or to bed. This was the first time I had ever adjusted leg elastic to adjust the size of a diaper. All of my one size diapers have a bunch of snaps! Well, it was easy as can be and looks so nice and tidy without the bazillion snaps to adjust the legs. Not only that, but there are more options than just Small, Medium, Large. You can adjust the diaper to between sizes! Finn is right between a Small and a Medium, so I secured the elastic with the button in the hole between Small and Medium, essentially creating a S/M, where most diapers don't give you near the customizing ability- and you guys know that when leg elastic doesn't fit properly, the diaper is useless. No worries with the Charlie Banana One Size! They have done us proud, CDers.

Super customizable, not just small/medium/large

At the bottom of the wings, where it meets the leg elastic, there seems to be a bit of bunching. I was concerned that it would affect the diaper and leak, since I wasn't sure if it would keep a nice "seal" around the legs. My other concern was that it would dig a bit into his thighs and make him uncomfortable and/or cause him to have red marks from the pressure.

Again, no worries with the Charlie Banana One Size. No leaking, no blowouts, no discomfort, and none of those awful red marks! I was relieved. And the fit? Nice and trim, even with those super fluffy inserts.

Finn was a fan!

Now, time for Jackson, because what good is a one size diaper that won't fit until time to potty learn, right?

Jackson said the diaper was nice and soft! I noticed that even with Jackson, who is tall and skinny where Finn is long and chubby, there is a nice tall rise. I think my biggest beef with one size diapers is that on the largest settings, they tend to have rises that don't accomodate kids that wear that size adequately. And the little bit of bunching I noticed with Finn around the wing/leg area was not near as noticeable with a larger child wearing the diaper.

I thought the fit for Finn (17lbs) was fantastic, as was the fit for Jackson (28lbs)- very customizable and trim without sacrificing absorbancy. The diaper was soft, the inserts were soft, and the quality of the materials was evident after the many washings and wearings we have subjected the Charlie Banana to thusfar! It was easy to adjust and stuff! I would say that I highly recommend the Charlie Banana One Size! Now, I have read that the Charlie Banana OS can use disposable inserts, but I haven't tried them. The Charlie Banana One Size diapers start at $20.88 and go up to $25.88 at All About Baby Boutique, depending on whether or not you go with a classic color or designer prints.

I think the price is spot on and I plan on investing in a couple more of the Charlie Banana diapers.

(Just don't tell Tim, because for some insane reason, he thinks that there is such a thing as "enough diapers!")

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's really happening!!!

We have been renting the house I grew up in.
We intended to buy it from my Dad, so we jumped into homesteading and homemaking.

But really, this house and few acres isn't really, really, really ours...

But it will be on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:00pm EST!!!!

We are closing on our home, finally!

I won't be able to take a deep breath until it's all over... until we're homeowners... or, uh, mortgage holders that will be homeowners in 15 years or less :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions-- 2012

I do them every year :)

Last year, I resolved to learn to knit, among other things! All attempts were successful and I really enjoyed learning to garden and wearing a bikini on the beach when I was super pregnant! I made a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN my life and actually enjoy it. It's made a wonderful difference, for sure!

Here are my resolutions for 2012:

1. Continue to change my shopping habits.
I'm good at buying used and/or in bulk, but could still be more careful about how many new things I bring into our home and how much trash we produce from packaging.

2. Make more time for reading!
I got a Nook last year and have been reading a lot more since I got it. I keep it in my bag in a padded case that I bought from an Etsy seller to protect it... I bring it out whenever I find a minute, especially in the pick up line at Keelin's school.

3. Learn to enjoy baking.
Although I find it tedious, I can bake bread well, but with my new Kitchenaid mixer (Tim and my Dad got me one for the holidays) I think it will be easier for me to expand my baking knowledge. I want to become the queen of muffins and master yeast rolls!

4. Continue to become more sustainable here at home!
We are planning to add goats and rabbits this year, as well as a few more fruit trees, while continuing to raise chickens and garden. I am excited about canning what is in season, doing more than I did last year, particularly juices and vegetables!

What are your resolutions for the New Year? I'd love to hear what you all are tackling this year!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Man, this holiday season really whipped my tail! Did everyone survive!? :)

It seems like it was a whirlwind couple of months around here, but it was great fun and a lot of work.

We hosted Thanksgiving!
We hosted Christmas!
We went to Missouri, where my husband is from, and spent a week with his family.

Now, we're home and it's 2012. Already!

We (Tim and I) are so excited to share our plans for this year with you all. I'm really looking forward to your feedback and ideas. Bear with me while I upload a gazillion photos from the last couple of months and organize my thoughts after being a bit busy for the last few weeks!

Happy New Year~



I messaged you on Facebook, lady!
Will send out your present as soon as I get your address!

Thanks to all who entered and helped me test out Rafflecopter. I will be using it later this month for a HUGELY awesome review and giveaway.