Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Ode to a Bathtub.

Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Duplex, Feelings, FTW, Kids, Mom stuff, Northeast Minneapolis, Old Houses | 2 Comments »

Bathtub that I loved so dearly

There is one thing I am going to miss from our old place.

The claw-foot tub.

It was everything you could want in a tub.  It was deep and long and just right in so many other ways.

I probably took over 1800 soaks in that thing over the 6 years it was ours.

When I was pregnant with the twins and suffering from PUPPPs I would soak in a cool bath 3-4 times a day, just to keep the itching away.  Sitting in the tub, sniffing my bottle of Burt’s Bees face wash (I craved that scent when pregnant) just waiting for those boys to be born.

My boys all loved that tub.  It was one of the only places Wyatt would nurse as an infant.  It was deep enough to keep even Lincoln’s vigorous splashing from hitting the floors.  It was pretty much the only place Judah was ever bathed after his frantic 1st bath in the pod.  I’ve got many memories tied to that tub.

It was simply lovely.

Now, the bathroom in which this tub sat was nothing to write home about.  Unless you were writing about how horrific it was.  Cracking plaster walls.  Sketchy floor.  No outlets.  I remember going to clean it for the first time after we moved in and thinking there was no way we’d ever get it clean.  Except for that tub.  I could scrub the hell out of that tub.

Word on the street is they are tearing it out for a (much needed) remodel.

They are getting rid of the best thing about that place.

Review-a-palooza {The Natural Life Store}

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Flats Challenge, FTW, Mom stuff, Stuff You Need | 2 Comments »

The Natural Life Store Minnesota

When I first decided I was going to take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge I contacted a little cloth diaper company *kind of* local to me, The Natural Life Store, that I had recently come across (and fallen in love with) and asked if they were interested in helping sponsor me during the week.   Alicia, the owner, said Yes and I am so grateful she did.

I have never actually purchased a diaper or diaper accessory in a brick and mortar store.  It’s just always easier for me to find what I like, find someone with reasonable prices or an excellent sale and order online.  I think that is probably how most of us shop for cloth diapers and I think that’s why so many WAHM’s have been able to get into the cloth diapering business, either as retailers or manufacturers.  They even have do-it-yourself registries now so you can let your friends and family know exactly what you want and you can get your stash going before your baby arrives.  I kind of wish I had been on top of THAT before the boys were born!

What drew me to The Natural Life Store first was their great pricing which they topped off with a great sale (you can keep up to speed on the newest deals by signing up for their newsletter) and then followed up with fantastic customer service and shipping that made my head spin!  Those things will keep me coming back for more.

Another great thing about The Natural Life Store is their Diaper Exchange program.  How many of us have a diaper or two that never got a lot of use (those newborn Bum Genius I stocked up on come to mind) that we just haven’t gotten around to finding a new home for.  You can send them to The Natural Life Store and they will give you store credit for each diaper so you can buy something that is just what you are looking for (next size, different style etc.) and the diapers you don’t want/need will be sold on their Used but Usable page.  If the diapers you send do NOT meet their standards they will ship them back to you at your expense or you can donate them to someone who is in need of diapers.  Either way it’s a win.

It’s everything you want in a diaper store and you can see why I love to tell people about them and was so excited they were willing to help me out this past week.

As I mentioned in my wrap-up post, my biggest challenge was keeping everything I needed to wash by hand separate from the other cloth diapers that needed to be washed.

Enter The Natural Baby Company Pail liner.  (How I’ve made it 2+ years cloth diapering without a pail liner is beyond me.)  For the challenge I kept it in the bathroom, either on the floor or in the tub depending on whether or not it was bath night.  It’s a nice accessory that doesn’t take up a lot of space.  according to The Natural Baby Company, it holds about 3 days worth of diapers.  I washed every night, so I haven’t tested that out quite yet, but it is very roomy.  I never came across any leaks or wicking or smell issues.  It has a nice long heavy duty cord to pull it shut or hang it up with.

Now that the challenge is over, I had Yogi Dad wash out the diaper pail and we are going to see how it fares being used as an actual pail liner.  I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed.  Also noteworthy was the little jig I did when I realized I wasn’t going to have to wash out the diaper pail every time I did a load of diapers.  That right there is totally worth getting one!

The other item I was provided with was a bag of Charlie’s Soap.  I have used quite a few different detergents over the past two years, but I had never tried Charlie’s.  The directions call for a tablespoon of Charlies to be added to each load of laundry.  Because I was only going to be washing 6 or so diapers at a time I thought I could figure out some way to have the soap ready to spray right on each diaper when I was ready to wash.

I first started by diluting the soap powder in a 12oz spray bottle but after 2 nights found that my $.99 spray bottle was a piece of junk so I switched to a peri-bottle I had left-over from when Judah was born.  If I had a soiled diaper I gave it a little squirt before it went into the pail liner, otherwise I just gave each diaper a good long squirt after they had their first rinse.

My diapers came out clean every time.  Considering I was doing all of the washing, rinsing and wringing by hand, I think that’s a pretty good endorsement.

I’m sure I could have completed this challenge successfully without these items but it sure made my life easier!

I’ve got to give a big thanks to The Natural Life Store for their contributions to my successful week.  If you are on the hunt for a great retailer, give them a try, they won’t disappoint!

Disclosure:  I was provided two products to use and review from the Natural Life Store.  All opinions on the products and The Natural Life Store are honest and my own.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Wrap-Up

Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Cloth Diapers, Flats Challenge, FTW | 1 Comment »

Sunday marked the end of the Flats and Handwashing challenge.

It was a week that was for the most part, surprisingly easy.  I think the toughest part for me was keeping everything separate.  I have three kids in cloth diapers and chose to only do one in flats because the twins do use disposables for school and I figured it would just be easier to keep the status quo for one the entire week instead of skipping back and forth and I knew I’d never be able to keep up with all three in flats!

The biggest thing I did was make sure my flats (which were so generously donated to me by Diaper Junction) didn’t get mixed in with my pre-folds and fitteds that the boys were using.  I kept the flats and covers in the bathroom and everything else in the laundry room.  I did often end up with all three in flats from time to time.  I think that’s just par for the course with cloth diapers.

So here is a confession.

I kind of love flats.

I mean, I do it up easy.  No fancy folds.  No Snappi’s.  Just a nice thick padding to absorb what needs to be absorbed.

It’s like my love of pre-folds taken to another level.  I will be keeping these in my arsenal for sure.  The knowledge that if I ever needed to, I could keep my boys diapered and my diapers clean with the bare minimum in an emergency is pretty great.

And the handwashing?  I had a pretty easy week of it- only 2 poop days.  I’ve never used a diaper sprayer and because up until last week we used a coin-operated washing machine, I was very familiar with soaking and rinsing pre-folds.  Flats were a breeze in comparison!

My hats are off to everyone who participated!  Way to go.

And Thanks to Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry for organizing this whole thing.



Flats Challenge (half-way point check-in)

Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Cloth Diapers, Flats Challenge, FTW, Kids, Lincolnton and Wy, Stuff You Need | No Comments »

Four days into the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and I think we are cruising along pretty well here. After the first night where my flats didn’t dry I was able to figure out a solution and we’ve had dry flats every morning since.

Washing is going well and is as easy and quick as washing a sinkful of dishes. I’m not sure there is anything that washes as clean as a flat to be honest, it’s a breeze! Then again, I have a baby who only poops every second or third day, so I’ve had it pretty easy compared to some people I think.

We definitely have a night wetter on our hands as opposed to a day wetter. At most changes I’d have to say the diapers are fairly dry, they are wet, but not all the way through and no where near soaking. I do find that cotton absorbs quite a bit.

We did have one slip-up on night number two when Judah was asleep before we had changed him into a nighttime diaper. I was going to double up on flats instead of pre-folds and he was in a single flat. He woke up soaking from head to toe around 3am, not a happy camper! We haven’t made that mistake since.

I’ve been playing around with different covers, Thirsties, Flips and wonder Wraps are obviously the easiest to wash because they are PUL but I’ve also tried a gDiaper which has worked great and dries pretty well overnight.

So, nothing I can point to that would derail this process at this point. It’s nice to know that if I was without a washer and a dryer I could get by with the basics. I know these flats are going to stay in the stash from now on!

BFBH Week 21: Success Stories!

Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, FTW, Goals, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public | 5 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi every Thursday and Friday. Each week there is a new topic pertaining to breastfeeding, please feel free to link up your post and join in the conversation!

Last week when I finished writing my post I felt a bit jaded and maybe a bit sheepish for putting it all out there. It was such a downer post. Then I started to read the other posts linked up and they were all kind of telling the same story.

Breastfeeding is hard.

But, it gets easier.

Once I resigned myself to the fact that Judah liked to nurse around the clock I realized it was working. Once I saw that he had finally gotten out of the sleepy jaundiced slump he was in and started gaining weight, it was obvious to everyone that he was thriving. I was a breastfeeding mom.

I could finally let go of a little bit of the failure I felt with the boys.

And for me, that is a huge win.

Now! Let’s see what everyone else has to say on the subject. I bet this week gets everyone excited about all out awesome experience!

Flats Challenge Kick-Off!

Posted: May 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Firsts, Flats Challenge, FTW, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | 3 Comments »


It’s been a whirlwind weekend around here, what with moving and all.

I may not be able to find my clothes, but I made sure that my flats and covers were easily accessible and ready to go. That’s why you could find me hefting the huge box of pre-folds and flats up the stairs during our second tornado siren of the day on Sunday. On a different note- Judah can crawl up the stairs.

So for the Flats and Hand Wash Challenge I am using at max, 5 covers in rotation and 12 large birdseye flats from Diaper Junction. I’m still trying to decide which covers I’m using, Judah was in a well used Thirsties cover today and that lasted until bedtime. I’ll probably do a rotation of a Thirsties, a Flip and a Wonder Wrap. I’ve also got a Stacinator that I’ve been trying out but that might be too big for him and it might be a pain to dry….I’m obviously making this up as I go along.

So, tonight I had 4 flats to wash and 1 cover. There was a pre-fold in there that Yogi Dad used while I was out at a networking event, but it’s the first day, so I’m going to give him a pass. Just this once!

My plan is to wash them at the end of each night and dry them overnight. I prepared a spray bottle (maybe 10oz) with water and a tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap. I am going to try and see if giving them a good rinse in hot water and then spraying them with the diluted soap solution, and then some elbow grease followed by another really good rinse under hot running water will be good enough to clean them. When I washed them tonight it took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Not too bad.

I had planned on buying some sort of drying rack but never got around to it, so right now they are draped over empty laundry baskets in my kitchen. We’ll see if they are dry in the morning. Like I said, I am making this up as I go along. During the day I am keeping my flats and covers in a pail liner in the bathroom. Normally all diapers would go right into the diaper pail in the laundry room.

For nighttime we’ve just got him in a doubled up pre-fold in a cover, just like we usually do. Yogi Dad got everyone in their nighttime diapers so I may try a flat and pre-fold combo tomorrow night, we’ll see. I am using a super easy pad-fold/ tri-fold hybrid. I’m not good with the folds and this keeps all the areas covered.

One thing I noticed today was that the diapers were not saturated at all. This may be due to some weaning we’ve got going on, we’ll see how the week goes. I’m going to up the liquid intake tomorrow.

Day 1, down! I can’t wait to see if my flats are dry in the morning.

UPDATE!!! They were NOT dry in the morning. Boo! I draped them over the back of our dining room chairs and they were dry within 2 hours. I need to get my line rigged up!

If you are participating, leave me a link to a post about your plan!

Kicky Pants Half Off!

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: Affiliate Links, Blogging, Day to Day, Friday Favorites, FTW, Kids, Product Reviews, Stuff You Need | 1 Comment »

Kicky Pants Bamboo

I had to share because I am a HUGE fan of Kicky Pants clothes for kids and I *just* saw this sale.  I’ve actually got a review post coming for Kicky Pants in the next few weeks, but that will have to wait.

Kicky Pants are all Bamboo fabrics, my favorite being the Bamboo Viscose pajamas, they are darling.  And soft.  And slinky and soft and cuddly and I think I’m wasting all of my adjectives on this post and did I say SOFT?


Kicky Pants!

Half Off!

At Hautelook


hautelook logo

I had an Extreme Couponing “Moment”

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Blogging, City Living, Cleaning, Day to Day, Extreme Couponing, Feelings, Firsts, FTW, Mom stuff, money, Saving Money | 6 Comments »

Spurred on by a photo of a friends latest Target trip where she purchased among other things, a box of Tide and some various other H&B products with her total coming out to be less than the box of Tide, I made a list.

I was going to try my hand at this Extreme Couponing thing.

I was pretty excited as I hunted through my coupons.  You could say I was extremely excited.

So I put the boys on the bus, strapped Judah in the car, grabbed my list and headed towards my Target.  Sadly, this might be my last visit to this Target.  You know, because we are moving to the other side of the city and all.  (cue sad music)

But this trip!  This trip was amazing.  (I took pictures but our camera cord is at the new house so this will have to do for now.)

The Breakdown:
MC- Manufacturers coupon TC- Target coupon

21oz Tide Stain Release Spray sale $4.49 ($3 MC + $1 TC) total $.49

114oz Tide Powder with Bleach sale $10.99 ($3 MC $.75 TC) total $7.24

J&J First Aid to Go x2 reg $.97 ($1 off 2 MC) total $.94

Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion w/ free trial size lotion clearance $4.18
Olay single bar soap reg. $.97
Secret trial size deodorant reg $.97
($4 off MC if you buy lotion+deodorant+soap) total $2.12

22oz Murphy’s Oil Soap Spray price cut $2.49 ($.50 MC + $1 TC) total $.99

1Qt Similac RTF reg $5.49 ($5 MC) total $.49

And my treat for my trip was a large Cherry Limeade from Sonic reg $1.99 ($1.99 voucher from Star Tribune STeals) total FREE!

Total: $33.51  Paid: $12.27  Savings:  $21.24 (63%)

Not bad.

I would be amiss if I didn’t point you towards my current giveaway of $50 to Tea Collection which ends 5-27 and also my Coupons+Deals page.  You can find lots of things on this page- coupon generators, coupon toolbars, freebies…

Disclosure: These were the prices at the Fridley MN Super Target on 5-17-11, some of the Sale prices may have been TPC’s (I didn’t write them all down as I was shopping).


We are Moving!

Posted: May 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: 2011 in 2011, City Living, Cleaning, Day to Day, FTW, Moving | 2 Comments »

Let’s all take a collective deep breath.

It was a loooong weekend here.  Mostly for Yogi Dad.  He did all the heavy lifting. 

I did the panicking and freaking out and OMG we have to MOVE!  NOW!  PACK THE CAR LET”S GOGOGOGOGO!

Yeah, Saturday was not my best day.

Yesterday was good.  Thanks to my awesome sister who let us pick her up after a long night out with her girlfriends so she could sit with the boys while we made a few trips back and forth and I could get my bearings in the new house. 

What is it about moving that makes all of your stuff look like it needs to be replaced?

This is going to be a long week, the goal is to have pretty much everything except furniture and big boxes out of here by Friday night, cribs disassembled ready to go, any boxes staged in the living room.  We are going to be ready.

The guy at Two Men and a Truck laughed and said that is what everyone plans on doing.

He doesn’t know just how cheap we are!  Or the list of things I would rather spend the money set aside for this move on…

So, wish us luck! 

And please, if you’ve got any moving tips I am all ears.  Or eyes.  Would it be eyes since I am reading it?

Kicking Autism’s Ass Since 2010

Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Day to Day, EI, Family, Feelings, FTW, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 5 Comments »

I kind of feel like we have been doing this for years, when in reality it’s only been a few short months.

In the past 2 weeks, it’s like we have a totally different kid.

Wyatt is engaged more than not.
He’s calling things by their names (even if it’s only the first syllabel of the word).
He’s “singing” the alphabet.
He’s pointing.
He’s pretending!

It’s just so awesome to see.

Yes, we still have a long way to go. Yes, he still has autism- that isn’t going away.

It’s just *so* encouraging to see such great progress. You get so mired in all the details of your day it’s like a slap in the face to say “This is what we are working towards and it’s happening!”

Lincoln is coming out of his shell a bit too. Today when his teacher and the speech therapist came for a home visit he met them at the door with a hug and spent a good part of the visit hanging off the speech therapist’s back (he’s really into piggy-back rides) and giggling. He’s making progress too, communicating in his own way. We are learning how to meet him at his level, which is probably the biggest obstacle! He knows just how to get what he wants, we just have to read his cues a bit better.

It’s happening!