would you wear paper underwear?

so this was one of my favorite responses given to the question "why are you cloth diapering your baby?"... ah, the internet is a repository. yep, that's about it.

the other day i mentioned a few things i wanted to blog about, and this morning after nursing my little one back to sleep i couldn't seem to follow suit - so here i am! now, if you've ever out of morbid curiosity or sincere interest "googled" cloth diapers, you've probably realized that: a) it's not like it used to be, or what you thought it might have been like (oh we of the disposable only generations) and b) this is becoming a pretty substantial trend and a source of work and income for a lot of cottage industry type moms who want to work from home... so i think it's pretty sweet.

because there is such a massive amount of info out there, and it's good well written and eye catching - CD'ing can become addictive i kid you not, i will not bore you with too many mundane details. but i do want to tell you about how eric, ezri and i have encountered it, the resources we rely on, and why we're doing it.


my first memory of knowing (of) someone who did cloth diapering - since i've been grown (in africa it's pretty common) - was about 4 years ago. a friend was talking about nursery duty at church and how confusing it was to have to change a cloth diaper for the daughter of a mutual friend... i smiled and nodded and thought, okay, store that away for future research. it's funny to think, eric and i weren't even seriously dating at the time, and now we have a 3 month old...

after that, i noticed CD'ing popping up all over the place. a friend who knits her babies' wool diaper covers, new parent friends who were buying these pretty cute little pocket diapers that looked nothing like the flats and diaper pinned things i remembered from childhood. and then of course, there was the whole "oh yeah, mom only used 'sposies for her last kiddo" - my baby pictures include real cloth nappies, because disposables would have been virtually nonexistent in 1980's zimbabwe...

but until we were pregnant, i really hadn't put it all together. in my mind, when i saw myself changing my baby's diaper, i saw myself throwing that mess away - not rinsing and washing it!

why we're doing it

again, if you read the internets, you might have seen the big reasons somewhere. it's environmentally responsible - millions of disposable diapers (predominantly from the U.S.) end up in landfills every year - ew! it's (usually) economically smart. so far, ezri's adorable little diaper stash has cost us about $350 - the average cost of disposable diapering from 0 to potty-training (which takes longer and longer it seems these days) is anywhere from $1500 to $3000 depending on what you have to buy. and i say have to buy, because as many parents will tell you, every baby is different and what works on one will break another out. and that brings me to another reason: have you seen what they put in 'sposies? the gels and fibers that are designed to "wick away" moisture from baby are often things that were banned from use in cosmetics designed for adults. plus - i hate the smell of the disposable diaper aisle, it is soooo weird.


okay, i have a degree, i've written papers, so i can't leave you with some of these statements without backing them up. some sources are:

Diaper Jungle -

this site has excellent "how-to's" and listings of small businesses who make the oh-so-cute diapers locally etc. it also has a couple of great pages with "history" of diapering and all the "why's" for cloth diapers... and my personal favorite, snappy comebacks for the slight critical curious stranger. although, i have to say we have mainly encountered bewilderment, surprise or bemused support and no hostility.

Cotton Babies and the Fuzzi Bunz Store -

personal favorites of mine, these sites are mainly retail with a bit of how to, a blog and some fun natural parenting and eco friendly clothing, toys and product other than their great diapers. i could get into my personal preferences and what i like to use but, that's another day or a conversation you can have with me via message ;) both of these companies have great facebook pages and good discussion and how to action goes on there.

okay, and now for storefronts: 

Green Bambino -
eric and i were able to visit a physical store in oklahoma city when i was about 8 months pregnant. the green bambino is a fabulous little store and the women who work there are all cloth diapering natural mamas who are ready a willing to school you in the massive array of styles and techniques that have appeared on the scene in the last like, 15 years. the owner knows her stuff and it's just a plain fun place to be! i wish we lived closer.

The Nappy Shoppe
the same goes for the nappy shoppe in allen, tx (DFW metro area)... my brother and sister-in-law decided to do cloth and we searched high and low in their area for a storefront before owen was born. we came up with this place, sharni and her crew have only recently started to do open houses and appointments in their workshop/storefront... their main business seems to come from the website. nappy shoppe sells several varieties of cloth diapers and all the trappings, plus sharni makes and sells gorgeous diaper bags, wetbags (i love mine!) and their own type of pocket diaper inserts ... we were able to go with ian and brittany on their appointment and she walked them through all sorts of diapering options and it was great to see them get excited about doing this for their baby and themselves!

Sweet Cheeks LLC -
okay, so until recently, i did not know that this store: sweet cheeks llc. existed in our own wichita, kansas! i have "liked" them on facebook and am eager to go visit. they sell a couple of my favorite diapers, and seem to be plugged in to a great natural parenting community i didn't know existed in this part of kansas! of course, i find this as we're looking for jobs that may lead us elsewhere but it still makes me pretty happy.

in conclusion =) if you're interested in cloth diapering:

- new parents/parents to be, visit a store! it will get you motivated. you can do CD'ing for as little as $200 if you do it right... or you can be like us and be seduced by all the fun prints, clever designs, and urge to find the perfect nappy and be mid-range ($300-$500 investment)

- ask around, you may be surprised who's doing this and you don't even know

- my mom (and mom in law actually) was a great confidence builder and cheerleader, your family will probably support you once you tell them why you're interested in doing this

- never too late to start. just because you have a one year old doesn't mean you can't start now. he/she will have at least another year in diapers - you could save $1000! and at least in our income, that's a chunk.

- if you're brave, ask me anything you'd like - i may not know it all, but i have learned you can geek out over anything, including diapers. yes, diapers.



okay, my siblings and i are old enough now to admit... there were times when we did actually roll our eyes at our mother. i denied this vehemently during the years american culture expects you to... i did not want to be THAT kind of teenager (instead i was a weird conservative/christian/slightly granola homeschooler) BUT i will now say it: i rolled my eyes when my mother would talk about something she was passionate about.

like breastfeeding. or being a homemaker. or homeschooling. or politics. feminism.

in the last few weeks though, i've realized something incredibly cool about motherhood. it increases your passion, your determination and your commitment levels threefold... at least! i may have occasionally rolled my eyes at my truly incredible mom, but it was with a level of pride in the fact that she is an educated, loving and intelligent woman who has no shame in stating her priorities of God and family first. she is evangelical about all the things that make her life so full and interesting. she is evangelical because she wants others to have the same experiences, because she is a teacher and wants everyone to know good news in any form.

so how is motherhood changing me? what perspectives are being heightened, altered, or opened up for me?

well, i have certainly gotten evangelical. i feel like this should almost be an apology to anyone who "follows" my facebook feed... i am obsessed with cloth diapering, lactivism and parenting articles! i have become what i feared so easily, and i am enjoying it without shame... and without feeling like i've lost my identity.

mommyhood is re-awakening old expectations and desires, hopes i had for my grown up life. so many of the things i am reveling in now are things i'd quietly put away to the back of my heart. after the upheaval of my early twenties, i had told myself that things like babies and hope and a husband that says things like, "i like taking care of you" or "i like that you are your own person", and having the chance to stay at home (*gasp* me? a SAHM?) were chances expired.

someday, i hope i'll remember to share with ezri how she has changed my life for the better from the instant i knew we were expecting her. so many things eric and i choose to do now, we do with greater commitment and vehemence because we know making or breaking habits we have now will *hopefully* help us build a better life for her. i want to get up early in the morning, and she's certainly good at helping with that, and keep going... i want to cut expenses and save and buy smart because every little thing we choose to do now is enabling us to make the best home for her.

so - things on my mind that i hope to share my evangelical fervor about:

- raising girls of substance and dimension in our culture
- breastfeeding and "natural"/baby-led weaning to real people food
- cloth diapering
- frugal and simple living
- our research and first steps in unschooling/homeschooling
- choosing to stay at home with my incredible little girl

nothing truly original i know... but things i feel prompted to talk about, to pass on. this week, i've had the exciting experience of becoming an auntie and it has made me realize already that nearly 3 months of my little girls life has flown by. seeing ian and brittany take their first wonderful and frightening steps into parenthood has increased my love and gratitude to my family and my desire to record my thoughts and feelings right now. i don't know what format all these thoughts will survive on til ezri is ready to read them... by then a "blog" might sound like a telegram or airmail letter is starting to sound to us, but i want her to have a taste of what her mama was like on this cold dry february morning in kansas, 2011.

i feel compelled. maybe i'll even become evangelical.