Welcome to my Universe!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Note from the Universe, and other things.

The thing that most forget while dreamily looking off into the horizon for the ship of their dreams, Jennifer, is that such ships never sail in, but are actually built beneath their very feet.

Ohh-wee-ohh,
The Universe


I really needed that one today.

I’ve been doing my old things lately. Picking at the flaws. But I’m trying to keep it to myself, because I know it’s my problem. And today, the note from the universe reminded me that my life is of my own making. I dreamed this reality into existance. And really, thinking about it that way, and maybe taking a step back and looking at it from the the outside, I can see that my life is pretty damn good. Pretty damn good, and, yes….even a dream-come-true.

Going back eight years…really going back in my mind and putting myself back in that place. It was hell. I don’t believe in heaven and hell, Bible-style…but I believe in heaven and hell. I believe that both heaven and hell are both formed by our thoughts. Both are self-inflicted. Eight years ago I was in hell. Self-inflicted. It was MY fault. Back then, if I had tried to picture what would make me feel safe, secure, healthy, and happy, I would have thought of…a nice place to live. The bills paid. Able to take a vacation now and then. A mate that loves me like there’s no tomorrow, and who would do anything for me. Healthy, happy children. A good bit of freedom…from emotional torture, from sickness, from addiction, from financial ruin. Lots of good ideas, and a bright future. And something that I wouldn’t have even been able to imagine back then…a smidgen of spiritual awareness.

I have all those things now. What a dumbass I am, looking for things to be wrong!

Yeah, once in a while I’d like to not be the one with all the good ideas. Once in a while, I’d like to be able to bounce a dilemma off of him, and have him come up with a creative solution, instead of saying…”I don’t know…” But he’s so good in other ways, in the ways I dreamed. So, Self, quit being such a bitch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The math of parenting.

The Math of Parenting
by Rebecca Erin Murphy

Recently, I was lurking on a parenting forum thread where the topic was “The Cost of Parenting”. Rough estimates on the monetary cost of parenting were tossed around and debated as well as the ethics of becoming a parent if you can’t afford it, along side the all important time factor and how much of one’s life a person can expect to invest towards being a parent.

I started thinking about the numbers of my own parenting experiences. There are actually few that I could put into real numbers.

Like, for example,so far I have spent a total of 139 weeks of my life pregnant,38 hours in labor, 4 years and 4 months breastfeeding.

I have changed approximately 20,000 diapers, which in actuality were only 20,000 diaper changes ,since I used
exclusively cloth diapers for all 4 children. That equates in reality to more like 300-500 cloth diapers washed repeatedly, which is an incredibly wonderful thing since I don’t think I could deal with the idea of having contributed roughly 8 TONS of NON-biodegradable waste onto the earth if I had used disposable instead of cloth.

If I recycled every scrap of paper and tin can I encountered for the rest of my life ,I doubt I could ever earn enough karma back to be in good faith with the Lord & Lady in charge of all things earthly.

In 14 years of parenting, I have read an estimated 5,200 bedtime stories. This is a very rough number because there is no way to possibly figure out how many of those nights I read a pile of books instead of one in an effort to placate the “Just one more story,pleeeease mommy?” pleas. This also does not account for the myriad of story books that were brought to me in the middle of the day at random moments by my little offspring looking for a story and some cuddle time or even the spontaneous tales that were made up on the spot.

Then there are the things that I don’t know how i could possibly put a number on like the thousands of hugs and kisses and “I love yous”, the dozens of doctor’s visits and teaspoons of medicine to cure their ailments, the stitches,the ER visits , the sleepless nights….

The hundreds of times I’ve been asked questions and not really known what to say but somehow came up with an answer that felt right to me and satisfied them. The times that I didn’t know the answer and we found out together. The thousands of teachable,spontaneous moments that life presented on it’s own for both mother and child.

The hundreds of times I wiped tears of pain, both emotional and physical. The dozens of times I’ve dressed Barbie dolls , vroomed cars across the floor, played the part of a ferocious T-Rex coming to devour a timid stegosaurus,sipped invisible tea from a pink plastic tea cup….

Given starter pushes on the swings, made snow sculptures in the snow even though i hate the snow…

Wiped butts and runny noses…

Played in the rain and splashed in puddles, pulled earthworms from their holes, planted seeds, turned over rocks to uncover hiding bugs….

Rescued helpless maidens who climbed too high up in the tree….

Countless other moments ,too many to mention…

My parenting experience has been a spiritual journey. I have been a mother for 14 years, 8 months and 19 days and that time is 9/10 responsible for the woman I am today. It is not ALL that I am as a person but it accounts for a great deal of WHO I am.

So what kind of price after all of that can I put on parenting? I feel it hasn’t cost me anything but earned me more than I ever could have dreamed of. If I could put a monetary value on what I have gained through parenting, I would be a millionaire.

The cost of parenting matters very little when the investment made is priceless

Printed with exclusive permission from the author.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lazy blogger.

I’m a bad, bad, very bad blogger. I never write in my blog! I have been very busy. Working three nights a week. Michael got his real estate license finally, and is working with a local firm, and I’ve been helping him market himself. I’ve built a website too….originally for the purpose of marketing Michael, but it’s becoming more than that. I’m already getting the word out locally, and John’s (my ex, Seth’s dad) company is interested in advertising with us to expand their business out here. He works for a company that installs solar and radiant heating systems in houses. I can feel the momentum building and I’m getting really excited about it.

Another thing I’m getting excited about is the Live and Learn Conference. Woo hoo!! Next week in Black Mountain, NC. Michael can’t go due to his blossoming business, so it will just be Seth, Drew, and me….which may be a good thing. I’m thinking that since this is the first year I’m going totally alone (the first year in St. Louis I shared a room with my friend Angela from Colorado), I will be more motivated to mingle and socialize. I do tend to keep to myself. I hope to break that tradition this year.

So, we’re spending tomorrow at Lake Gaston, then I have two more nights of work. A quick nap on Wednesday morning before the five hour drive to Black Mountain. I’m so psyched!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wonderful unschooling article! From the Greensboro News-Record

For unschoolers, all the world’s a classroom

By Katie Reetz
Staff Writer
Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007 3:00 am


Credit: Nelson Kepley/News & Record
Iain Curley padded down the stairs about 10:45 p.m. one evening and asked Mom and Dad if he could read to them.

He was holding a book, “The Little Hen,” his parents hadn’t picked up before. The 8-year-old, they thought, hated reading.

He had fallen behind his classmates, and his sweet personality was bruised by their teasing. He hadn’t touched a book in months.

The sensitive little guy plopped down between his parents and read the book cover to cover.

Then he asked permission to get another.

His mom, Evie Curley, allowed herself a few tears while he was out of the room selecting a book. He came back and read for 45 minutes.

In that moment, she felt certain about the decision the couple had made for their sons.

The Greensboro family is just beginning to explore the world of unschooling, a practice that has existed in some form or another for ages.

Unschooling isn’t the absence of education. It’s the absence of schools.

Public schools.

Private schools.

Even home schools.

There is no designated time for learning, no designated location where education takes place. Unschooling families see the world as an open classroom wallpapered with everyday experiences.

Kids express an interest, ask a question or wonder out loud whether fish breathe. Parents help them find the answer and foster discussions.

But they don’t push.

Cooking dinner can become a lesson in nutrition and fractions.

A trip to the zoo is a chance to discuss ecology, biology and conservation.

Playing video games teaches problem solving and inspires questions about cause and effect.

Or it can just be time to play video games and eat Doritos.

To have fun.

To be a kid.

The idea is everyone learns differently, at their own pace, in their own time. And that knowledge is interesting, something to be savored instead of structured.

Unschooling’s roots curl around the tree of unconventional education.

John Holt coined the term in the late 1970s and is widely considered the father of the movement.

Holt, along with proponents such as Ivan Illich and Harold Bennet, argued humans are born with an innate desire to learn and children’s interests should be nurtured rather than molded by conventional norms.

Many parents gravitate to unschooling to meet their child’s needs; others do it for ideological and religious reasons, says Michael Katz, president of the North American Philosophy of Education Society.

Faith in public schools has continued to falter since the early 1970s, he says.

Some blame vouchers.

Others resent the absence of religion in the classroom.

High-stakes tests turn off some parents.

Still others refuse to send their kids to schools where they fear little regard is shown for social, moral and emotional development.

The reasons differ for everyone.

Some academics believe a revolution in educational thought is required to restore faith in traditional schooling, but Katz doubts it will happen.

“We regulate schools not on the basis of an informed ideal of a moderately educated person but on what society will not tolerate — granting people high school diplomas in spite of their functional illiteracy,” he says. “So, we continue to regulate the hell out of literacy, and everyone suffers.”

Unschooling is a philosophy of home schooling so there isn’t a record of how many families are active unschoolers, says Rod Helder, director of the N.C. Division of Nonpublic Education.

State law requires children between the ages of 7 and 16 to attend a school — public, private or home school — that operates on a regular schedule for at least nine months annually.

In the 2006-07 school term, 2,641 Guilford County kids were registered home-schoolers, and 68,707 were registered statewide.

Home-schooled kids are graduates of nonpublic schools in the same way Dudley or Grimsley students are graduates of their schools.

As long as children are learning on a regular basis, taking an annual achievement exam and satisfying the requirements of North Carolina law, they’re free to learn in whatever way their families choose.

Unschoolers included.

But what about life beyond the teen years?

How do unschoolers get into college?

What about transcripts and SAT scores?

Won’t admissions officials look at you funny as you explain life without science fairs and school buses?

Not to worry, say Sunny Taylor, 25, and Astra Taylor, 27. The sisters were unschooled in Tucson, Ariz., and Athens, Ga., before their family settled in Greensboro.

It worked out pretty well for the siblings, who also have a younger brother and sister.

Sunny Taylor is a nationally recognized artist. She has been featured on National Public Radio and is a graduate student at Berkeley.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker. She went to Brown and the University of Georgia as an undergrad before receiving her master’s degree from The New School in Manhattan.

Most colleges have admissions policies to accommodate home-schooled students. Requirements vary but can include student portfolios, interviews and achievement exams.

“I think unschooling had everything to do with what I’m doing now — it gave us a strong sense of what we want to do, and who we are,” Sunny Taylor says.

The sisters dabbled in public school — Sunny tried kindergarten and eighth grade, Astra tried fourth grade and three years of high school.

But when she packed her bags for Brown, Astra Taylor brought along the unschooling philosophy of learning.

“It’s the intensity of your focus, not the quantity,” she says, calling from California after three weeks in San Diego and Tijuana, where she’s filming a documentary with a grant from the Sundance Institute.

“I think you can be incredibly creative for 45 minutes then sit and drink a cappuccino for the next hour,” she says.

Both women say their “nutrient-rich” home life unlocked their passions. Mom is an artist; dad is a scientist and musician. Books, music and art filled the home. Eleven-year-old Astra honed in on animal rights and the environment, and produced a monthly newsletter for residents of her Georgia community.

Sunny was born with arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that limits the use of her hands and legs. She started painting as a 12-year-old and holds her brush with her mouth or sometimes her toes.

The family made movies, visited farms and played host to Tibetan monks for a few months. The girls were around adults and kids of all ages and still feel they have an edge over peers intimidated by older bosses and mentors.

Not that life was all enlightened discussions and creative energy. The kids played video games, watched “The Simpsons” and generally goofed off.

And it wasn’t always easy to explain the family’s educational trajectory.

“It was more of a threatened reaction than anything,” Sunny Taylor says. “It wasn’t negative in terms of ‘You’re screwing up your kids,’ just a lack of comprehension.”

Credit: NELSON KEPLEY

Cindy Gaddis understands that reaction. She and her husband turned to unschooling 15 years ago when it was unheard of by many. Their oldest son, now 20, led them there.

Eric is a right-brain learner. At 5, he was interested in science and history, but reading was a struggle. The couple decided public school wasn’t the place for him.

The Gaddis’ six other children have also been raised as unschoolers.

“It’s not that they’re not learning; we’re allowing them to learn in their way,” the Trinity mom says. “They find their love and have time for it.”

The kids maintain schedules as divergent as their personalities.

Eighteen-year-old Abbey is a novelist and writes six to eight hours daily. Another son plans to enter the computer industry and devotes his time to programming.

The little ones learn new educational concepts in the morning, go on play dates and do plenty to exercise their creative muscles.

Unschooling takes the children away from a society that promotes overachievement and equates success with dollars rather than happiness, she says.

“I don’t want my kids to have to ‘find themselves’ late in life,” Gaddis says. “I want them to know what they love now, and experience that joy.”

Iain Curley and his 5-year-old brother, Ryan, have found that joy — at least for now — in video games.

Mario, Luigi and the Princess are just as much household names as Mom and Dad.

The Curley family is still just a few months into unschooling, but they’ve already found life and learning intersect in unexpected ways.

For Father’s Day, the boys decided to make their dad a Super Mario Brothers board game.

They worked together to come up with an objective, design challenges and create the board and game pieces.

Now, the boys are determined to make their own video game. Curley is learning Flash so she can help.

“I’ve been really amazed at the progress we’ve made since we loosened up,” she says.

The flexible schedule has also given the family more time together. Curley’s husband, Sean, works in Mebane and often isn’t home until 9 p.m.

Now, the boys can stay up to see him. The other morning Curley woke up at 6:15 a.m. to hear Iain talking to his dad while he showered for work. The more time together, the better.

Is it all easy?

No way.

“When you explain unschooling to people they look at you like you’re crazy,” Curley says.

There’s not much to do about that, she says. You can try and explain unschooling, but unless you’ve watched it work, the point doesn’t quite come across.

She’s seen the boys grasp concepts, not mindlessly memorize answers.

If they’re outside after a storm, the boys ask about water vapor.

When Melvin, the family dog, kills a snake, the boys use Google to investigate the origins of the scaly reptile.

They ask about rocks and crystals. Butterflies and dinosaurs. Frogs and fractions. How cavemen started to draw and if ants sleep.

The world is there for them to discover — Mom and Dad are there to guide them through it.

Contact Katie Reetz at 691-5091 or kreetz@news-record.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Talkative kid.

I can’t write much right now because Seth is talking my ear off. In fact, come to think of it, that may be the reason that I can’t write most of the time. LORDY, that boy sure does talk alot. He’s been blessed with the gift of gab. Right now, I am trying to answer his endless questions and type at the same time. I just wanted to brag about my beautiful, brilliant boy, who will be SIX years old tomorrow. He is so beautiful, he takes my breath away, and he gets more beautiful every day. His eyes are amazing, and I swear in them, I see a very old soul.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's a done deal.


Can’t believe I’m M…..M……Married.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Me.

I sold the honeybees back in January, while it was cold and the hive could be moved. A nice young couple from Raleigh came and picked them up. The woman had wanted bees for a long time and they were excited to be getting them. I sold them and all my equipment for a song. I miss them, and I wonder if I didn’t sell a little piece of myself along with them.

I closed on the new house on May 21. I moved into it because the house that I had been trying to buy for us to live in since January just wasn’t working out. This one turned out to be perfect for us in many ways, so even though it was supposed to be an investment, we are now living in it. I am busy as hell, trying to get this new place straightened out, and having a zillion things to do to the old house before it is rentable. I’m still not done moving yet. You just never know how much junk you own til you get ready to move it.

I said goodbye to my old bed tonight, because we got a new one. Two of my children were conceived on that bed. I got high on that bed. I had the lowest times of my life on that bed. I had the best sex of my life on that bed. I slept like a baby on that bed, and I had nightmares on that bed. It has been my bed for 12 years. It was a hand-me-down from my mother.

This weekend, I will be painting over the doorway where I have been marking my children’s growth in Sharpie for the past four years.

I have lots of memories in that house….the first that was ever my own. I have traded it for a five-minute commute to work, a tree-lined dead-end street with nice neighbors, and a closet that is bigger than my bathroom.

I’m getting hitched in 34 days. Yikes.

Friday, May 25, 2007

In Reality.

In Reality

You’ll not get me into an argument about religion or politics. No one ever wins. If I am to reach someone I want to influence them by my gentle nudging and by the life I live. I have discovered that arguing only creates distance.

Frankly, the differences of opinion in both those areas excites me. I celebrate our differences.

What I try to focus on is where we are connected.

For me the most difficult thing to define is “reality.”

I just had a long conversation with a friend about his perception of his life. His reality seemed dim, dark and doomed for destruction. As hard as I tried, I could not see his life that way. He fought with me and was angry because I could not validate his demise.

Everyday I receive messages from people who have locked themselves in a cell limited only by their perceptions.

When I had my radio show a few years ago, a young man called to say, “You make me sick!” He went on to criticize my Pollyanna views of the world and life itself. I never got upset with him and continued to praise him for taking a stand like this. “No matter what you say, or how you view me, I still will see the hope I have for you and a happy life if you want it bad enough.” After a few minutes speaking he suddenly said, “I’ve got to go.”

“Please don’t leave, yet!” I replied. “No, I have to. I’m beginning to like you.”

So I have asked myself this question, “What is my reality?” Here is what I’ve decided.

Reality is how I choose to see my world, not an image dictated by others.

There once was a time when I saw my life as never meeting expectations. I wasn’t young enough, slim enough, tall enough or smart enough. I didn’t have the right car, clothes, house, income, attitude or career. I wasn’t raised in the right community, I didn’t hang around with the right people, have the right ethnic heritage, nor go to the right school. I was foolish enough to believe this was reality.

Reality was, I was a failure, an odd ball, an outcast.

Then one day I felt this gentle nudging. I can’t quite pinpoint the event or moment. Was it created in loss or was it realized in a moment of joy? But I began to see through the barriers of the world and there, just beyond them, I discovered “Hope.”

Here is what is real in my world today.

The warmth of my wife lying next to me at night giving me a sense of security and reminding me of love.
The sound of my children’s voices confirming that all is well with them and knowing that they are my greatest contribution to the world.
My dogs wagging their tails when I come home…they are happy to see me. Some times the only ones.
The velvet touch of a rose petal between my fingers and the sweet smell it leaves behind reminds me that the finest things presented to all my human senses, are not manufactured but created by God.
The brightness of the sun rise cries out “Celebrate! You are born again into a new day.”
The gentle touch of a stranger’s hand when first we say hello and connect palm to palm. Considered a ritual, a formality by some, I find it a moment of connection on a spiritual level.
The sounds of life carried by the wind; the cries of a hawk, the waves crashing on the shore, the chatter of an anxious squirrel, and the bells on a distant ice cream truck carrying with it the sweet cream treats of childhood memories.
The tears I shed for someone’s pain.
The smell of fresh cut grass.
Laughter.
The wisdom of someone older than I.
The wisdom of an innocent child.
The taste of mashed potatoes and melted butter.
The smell of a turkey roasting in my oven producing instant flashbacks of family gathered around in celebration of life.
The sound, “You have mail!” on my computer.
The words, “Thank you!” “My friend” “Love” and “Hope.”
Watching commercials about fast cars, designer clothes, being thin, being young, being wealthy and knowing they aren’t as important as being happy with who I am…in reality!

Bob Perks

Bob Perks, National Writers Association member, has been in the business of helping people all of his life. But for more than a decade he has traveled with his inspiring message, “I Believe in You!” touching the lives of thousands. You can contact Bob through is website at: www.bobperks.com

Monday, May 7, 2007

Nature's fury.

An impromptu vacation to the Outer Banks has turned interesting. Right now, I’m in a beach house that is literally shaking in the wind, with surf rushing underneath it. We have had 40 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 60 mph, for an entire 24 hours now. The waves are at 12-15 feet. The beach in front of the house has eroded away, and now I can look out my bedroom window, which faces the house next door, and watch the waves washing away the dune between that house and mine. The ocean is now about 15 feet from where my Jeep is parked, but I’m hoping that what is left of the dune will last the night and protect it. This is quite exciting, but also scary because my kids are in the house too. As it stands, I’m the only one still awake. It is supposed to get worse before it gets better and I can’t sleep.

(Later….)

It’s been going on for 36 hours straight. The winds are supposed to die down some later tonight, but it may not happen before we have one more high tide to deal with. This has been the suckiest beach vacation in history. At first it was exciting, but now it’s getting old.

This is what I’m talking about.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cats and birds, houses and more...

Yesterday a horrible screeching noise woke M and I. In the kitchen, we found an injured woodpecker, and Joey trying to figure out what to do with it. How it got it through the cat door and into the kitchen is beyond me.

It appeared to have a broken leg, and was otherwise fine. It didn’t like us much when we scooped it into a laundry basket. I didn’t know what to do…I knew if I put it outside to fend for itself, my cats would have it again in no time, and it didn’t have a chance.

I found the number of a wildlife rehabilitator online, and referred me to another lady he knew. We took our feathered friend to Greenville and dropped him off at a vet’s office, where he was to be evaluated and later picked up by the wildlife rehab lady. I have a feeling that he’s going to be ok.

As for Joey…well, I don’t think he was responsible for the bird’s injury. It was a large, fiesty bird. I think that Joey found the injured bird and somehow managed to bring it indoors. Besides, Joey has a bell on his collar, and I just can’t see him sneaking up on an adult bird and breaking its’ leg.

In other news…I have my first piece of investment property under contract. It was a VA foreclosure. I still have the inspection and appraisal to get through, but it’s looking good.

I am still working on doing a few little things to my house, and will hopefully be out and have it rented by July 1.

Michael only has five more days at work. After that, he is going to take real estate classes, and will hopefully have his broker’s license before we get married. He has already been accepted to three nursing schools for the fall, but I think he’s decided not to go that route (thank goodness).

As for me, I plan on working my two nights a week for about three more years, then I’ll leave the world of punching a time clock. Watch me.

What I really want to do is get in a motor home with the family and go wherever the wind takes us.

Also…

In less than three months, I’ll be a married woman (again). Yes, mixed feelings….but mostly good ones. The uncertain ones are just leftover from times past.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Let meow't, or I love my cats...

but….

the gifts they leave for me are just disgusting.

A month or so ago, I got tired of my darling felines waking us up several times a night because they wanted to be let in or out of our bedroom window. So, I got this thing, Letmeow’t. I mounted it in a window in the living room.

It took them a few days to figure out that they could get in and out of it, but since they did, things have been great. They stopped scratching at the bedroom window so much, and when they did we would just open it, squirt them with water, and they would run away. After a while they got the hint that they couldn’t come in that way anymore. The best thing is, they rarely ever use the litter box anymore, which means I rarely have to clean it.

In the past couple of days though, I have found a huge drawback to Letmeow’t. It allows the kitties to bring anything they want into the house with them.

A couple of days ago Easter brought a lizard in the house. It was dead by the time I found out. It’s tail was gone too, and I haven’t found that part yet.

Ok, the lizard wasn’t so bad.

I have a lady coming today to look at my house, because I am going to rent it out after we move (whenever that may be, we have hit every snag you can think of in our house-buying escapades. Well, not every snag. The roadblocks have nothing to do with my credit or money situation, and everything to do with the seller’s Jerry-Springer-like divorce proceedings and a slow-ass Southern lawyer). Michael and I did some hardcore heavy-duty cleaning for about four hours last night. The house is spotless.

This morning, he was getting ready for work and he came back into the bedroom and said, “You don’t even want to know what’s lying in the middle of the living room floor”.

“Poop?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “Poop would be like winning the lottery compared to this…….
“Let’s put it this way, Joey did his part last night to control the local rabbit population”.

Joey had brought in a young, small wild rabbit…probably a baby. I’m saying that because of the size of the pile of parts that was on the floor. There was no face. Hell, there was nothing but a pile of fur and guts. Tufts of bunny hair all over the living room, and a puddle of fresh blood. The only way we could identify it was because a strip of fur had ears on it. It was like a chupacabra had gotten ahold of it.

My darling Michael swept up the remains, and I scrubbed up the pile of blood. Joey sat back with a “meow” and a look on his handsome, sweet little face that said, “Aren’t I the best kitty in the whole entire world?”

I tell ya…Joey will run and hide at loud noises, sudden movements, or if you just look at him too hard. But he is a killing machine. I’m not too sure about the Letmeow’t right now.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cloth diapering tips and tricks.

Cloth Diapering Tips and Tricks
by Charlise Grisham of Richardson, Texas

Here are some cloth diapering tip and tricks I have learned in my CD’ing journey!! There are also some of my favorite links below!

Get a box of flushable liners! They catch poo to keep it off your diaper, then you just flush it away! :o ) Just make sure you get the flushable liners!! You can find them on ebay!! Also, if the poo & liner gets stuck to baby’s butt; instead of peeling off the liner and leaving the poo, use a cloth wipe to make the liner “grab and wipe” most of the poo off, then you get less poo on your wipes!
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One tip on making your own wipes (like from flannel receiving blankets) is to make sure you zig zag stitch or serge the edges or they will fray like MAD when you wash them! LOL I made that mistake!! :o P Or, you could even use baby wash cloths from the dollar store! You could also cut up fleece (which doesn’t fray, or any other material (just make sure to finish the edges!).

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To wash:

I run a cold cycle, just water. Then a hot wash w/ Allen’s Naturally detergent, then another cold cycle with 5 drops of tea tree oil. Throw them in the dryer and DONE! If you wanted, you could easily hang dry everything outside or use the dryer to dry your inserts and put your pockets in front of a fan to dry.

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I use a diaper champ w/ a wetbag as a liner. Just pull the bag out, dump it in the wash, and wash everything together!

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The sun is a natural bleach. If you get any stains, lay your dipes stain up outside in the sun. You can even use some lemon juice to speed up the process!

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You can make your own wipe solution! Get a spray bottle and put in:

2 cups of water

2 tablespoons of baby wash/shampoo

2 tablespoons of baby oil

3-5 drops of Tea Tree Oil

3-5 drops of any other essential oil you like (calendula, lavender, etc) {optional}

Here is a link for other optional ingredients and other recipes!

http://www.mainstreetmom.com/budg/wipes.htm

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When you are done washing and drying your pocket dipes, always stuff them before you put them away. This is so much easier to handle with a squirmy baby so you can just slap it on and go!

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Always carry a wetbag in the diaper bag for dirty dipes and wipes!

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Don’t let your diapers sit for more than 3 days without being washed, or at least sitting/soaking in the washer or they will get FUNKY and could get moldy/mildewy! YUK!!

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And here are the links…

Diaperswappers.com

Diaperpin.com

Reprinted with exclusive permission from the author.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I am.

I am love. I am joy. I am peace. I am harmony.

I am abundance.

I am infinite abundant Well-Being.

I am a wonderful magical day brought forth today.

I am the knowing of the highest good solution to this situation.

I am alignment with Source.

I Am the resources brought forward whenever and wherever it is necessary.

I am an instrument of Love, Joy, Harmony and Peace.

I am the expression of mySelf – clear, powerful, effective and loving.

I am the sharing of my Divine Genius.

I am the abundant rewards of all that I share.

I am the allowance of abundant flow as Source blesses me in all ways.

I am a blessing and I am blessed beyond all bounds.