My PureWash

We love our PureWash!  We no longer use detergent on our clothes and it even gets the food oils out of our shirts.  No more ammonia in our cloth diapers or musty towel smells!  We save even more money because it only uses cold water.  No energy to heat the water!  With a really poopy load of diapers or diapers that have been in the pail for 3-4 days I will use a tiny bit of detergent and wash twice.  I hope this helps give you another option for washing your diapers.

We purchased our PureWash on Amazon in January 2012 for $399.95 with free shipping from The Green Giraffe. There is another similar product on the market called a LaundryPure. While I do not have personal experience with the LP, Heidi Mills from The Unorganized Woman posted a video of her system in March. The Laundry Pure on Amazon is not the latest version so I would strongly recommend you talk to Heidi if you choose the LaundryPure. She’s a local KC mama too!

I Heart Cloth Diapers- Giveaway!(closed)

Vaylee in her bumGenius Freetime

I’ve been cloth diapering for the last 6 years.  You could say I’ve been around the fluffy block a time or four.  For so many reasons I love cloth diapers.  My favorite is they save me time and headache.  I don’t have to rush to the store if I run out of diapers(or wipes).  I don’t have to shell out my vacation money monthly and then see it on the curb on Thursday mornings(trash day here).  I don’t have to smell Friday’s dirty diaper on Wednesday.  I don’t have to change baby’s whole outfit Every…Time…She…Poops.  Which means I need fewer and wash fewer baby clothes.  With clean cloth next to baby’s bum I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or rashes.  Oh and I love the cloth wipes…who wouldn’t…they are so much more efficient when I’m changing a wiggling toddler.  With cloth diapers my girls and boys show interest early and potty train by 2 years old.  Washing the diapers is a breeze too.  And baby’s diapers are so cute! Dressed only in her diaper she makes a fashion statement.

So now on my fourth child I’m in a full on love relationship with my diapers.  I found the system that I adore, I figured out the best way for me to wash them, and I’m in a routine to keep up supply.  Don’t get me wrong diaper life was not always this peachy.  Many leaking, stinking, rashing trials had to be endured.  But I’m so happy that I took this journey and now that I’m near the end of it I know I will miss my children’s cute fluffy bottoms.

The Diaper

Vay stylin in her Fuzzi Bunz Elite

Owning a cloth diaper store gave me the opportunity to try a lot of different diapering systems over the years.  I’ve tried prefolds, contours, and fitteds with their PUL, wool, and fleece covers as well as pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, one-size, and all the new hybrid systems.  There are so many options on the market and so many differently shaped baby’s with individually sized bladders to customize for.  After years of loyalty to Perfect sized pocket diapers from Fuzzi Bunz I’ve fallen in love with a new diaper….the Fuzzi Bunz Elite one-size pocket diaper.  The Elite is trimmer than it’s predecessor and the Perfect sizes too.  The adjustable elastic is the ideal way to adjust sizes without extra bulk.  And the amazing minky inserts are super absorbent.

Staying Dry

With newborns we just change baby as often as we nurse or baby poops.  Changing a newborn that often is just how it should be.  No one wants to sit in their waste for very long.  Once baby is older they come to a heavy wetting stage, especially at night.  One option is changing baby in the night.  Another option is an extra insert.  I’ve always used hemp inserts for this but I’m now really liking the new minky inserts.  For even more protection during this stage we use a Sugar Peas Fleece cover or a recycled wool cover.

Rashes

I’ve found one of the best methods for clearing up a rash is a naked night time.  We will put down a waterproof pad or some towels and let baby sleep naked.  This helps clear up a rash overnight.  Otherwise I will use my Magic Stick which is a natural rash ointment in a stick form that works great and is mess free.  If baby has a rash there is an issue that needs to be resolved.  The issue could be that baby is sick or reacting to food they ate, or detergent on the diapers.  Another possibility is that the diapers aren’t getting clean enough or the bacteria isn’t being killed.

Washing

Vay & all her fluff!

Washing my cloth diapers has been a struggle for me for years.  I couldn’t shake the ammonia smell.  Sometimes the build up would be so bad it caused rashes on my baby.  And that I couldn’t stand.  I’ve bleached, boiled, treated, stripped, sunned, and re-washed so many times…….whew.  The happiest testimonials from moms I’ve talked to have been from those who either line dried their diapers in the sun, or from those lucky mamas who had a soft water system.  I can now add myself to the list but for a different process.  I use a PureWash which adds oxygen and oxidizers to the water that goes into my washer.  I only use cold water and I don’t need any detergent.  It’s been amazing!  I feel like my tax refund was put toward some great long term savings for detergent, hot water, and avoiding all the re-washing and stripping.

Traveling

When we go on a weekend trip we take our cloth diapers with us.  We have enough for a couple days and it doesn’t interrupt our cycle.  Trips that last longer than that are a different story.  We’ve tried different cloth options but we prefer getting the eco-friendly biodegradable diapers if we can find/afford them.  A lot of people have great success with the disposable inserts that are now available for cloth diapers.  They are absorbent, easy to use, and biodegradable.

The Extras

The items in my diaper stash.

I mentioned this already but I love my cloth wipes.  I use 2 ply organic bamboo velour wipes.  They are so soft but so grippy.  Of the many wipes I’ve tried nothing holds a candle to OBV wipes.  I have 2 wetbags for my diaper bag and 2 pail liners to hang in my bathroom.  Other than that, my Magic Stick, and my Elite diapers, I have some prefolds that we mostly use as spit rags but occasionally are used as emergency diapers with a Snappi that I have stashed away.

The Conclusion

I love the fact that we cloth diaper our children.  I love that it’s healthier for them.  I love that it saves us a ton of money.  I love that it helps us potty train sooner.  I love that I’m not putting a trash bag full of diapers on the curb each week.  I love how cute my baby’s bottom looks in a fluffy diaper.  I love how easy it is.  I love sharing with others when they ask about my daughter’s cloth bottom.  I heart cloth!  Below are some t-shirts that I will be printing for our family and selling here on my blog.

The Freebie

bumGenius OS AIO Freetime in Mirror

Another diaper that I like and is probably one of the most convenient cloth diapers out there is bumGenius’ newest one-size(OS), fast dry, all-in-one(AIO), the Freetime.  There is no stuffing involved and it dries super fast for an AIO.  It’s OS feature snaps in the front, as all bumGenius do, so it’s slightly bulky but it’s a great diaper and bumGenius has some great colors and prints.  I happen to have a new Freetime diaper and I want to share it with you!  So please reply here on this blog post with your cloth diaper experiences/preferences/tidbits, or lack thereof to enter yourself for a free bumGenius Freetime cloth diaper!  The winner will be announced on June 1st!

Click the picture of Vaylee below to see her in action.

6/1/12  And the random winner of the bumGenius Freetime cloth diaper is… Jessica Bretches!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us your experiences and all the great cloth diapers that real moms are using!

Raw Milk

Our family has been drinking raw milk since 2006.  Personally I never realized the effect pasteurized milk had on my system until my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy I had horrible acid reflux and I puked a LOT in my third trimester.  I chalked it up to pregnancy hormones and that was just my lot in life.  It was during my third trimester of my second pregnancy that I was able to correlate the puking with pasteurized dairy.  We were only drinking raw milk at that time and I wasn’t puking.  But whenever I consumed pasteurized dairy products like ice cream I would throw it up within 30 minutes.

We’ve gotten our raw milk locally near Kansas City from a variety of different farmers over the past 6 years.  We prefer raw A2 milk from Guernsey or Jersey cows but supply isn’t the easiest to find.  When we can’t find A2 milk we will get raw milk from a Holstein farmer south of Lee’s Summit.  A1 raw milk is still 100 times better than pasteurized milk.

I feel confident that my children are getting the wholesome milk that their bodies need to grow.  I also love that our family can make butter, yogurt, cheese, kefir, and other yummy foods from scratch with no added ingredients.  Kevin and I hope to have a farm someday and raise A2 milk cows to sell their wonderful milk.  Below is more information on the risks of pasteurized milk and the benefits of raw milk.

Some truths about milk:

“DANGERS OF PASTEURIZED MILK: Many studies have linked consumption of pasteurized milk with lactose intolerance, allergies, asthma, frequent ear infections, gastro-Intestinal problems, diabetes, auto-Immune disease, attention deficit disorder and constipation. During a period of rapid population growth, the market for fluid pasteurized milk has declined at 1% per year for the past 20 years. Fewer and fewer consumers can tolerate pasteurized (and ultrapasteurized) milk (Don’t Drink Your Milk, Frank Oski, MD, 1983).

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE: In a survey of raw milk drinkers in the state of Michigan, over 80 percent of those advised by a healthcare professional that they were lactose intolerant were able to consume raw milk without problem. (LactoseIntoleranceSurvey.doc).

PROTECTIVE COMPONENTS: Raw milk contains numerous components that assist in:

  • Killing pathogens in the milk (lactoperoxidase, lactoferrin, leukocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, antibodies, medium chain fatty acids, lysozyme, B12 binding protein, bifidus factor, beneficial bacteria);
  • Preventing pathogen absorption across the intestinal wall (polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptides, bifidus factor, beneficial bacteria);
  • Strengthening the Immune System (lymphocytes, immunoglobulins, antibodies, hormones and growth factors) (Scientific American, December 1995; British J of Nutrition, 2000:84(Suppl. 1):S3-S10, S75-S80, S81-S89).

FORTY-YEAR-OLD SCIENCE AND ANCIENT HISTORY: Claims that raw milk is unsafe are based on 40-year-old science and century-old experiences from distillery dairy “factory farms” in rapidly urbanizing nineteenth century America.”  Realmilk.com

The type of cow your milk comes from is just as important:

“All proteins are long chains of amino acids. Beta casein is a chain 229 amino acids in length. Cows who produce this protein in their milk with a proline at number 67 are called A2 cows, and are the older breeds of cows (e.g. Jerseys, Asian and African cows). But some 5,000 years ago, a mutation occurred in this proline amino acid, converting it to histidine. Cows that have this mutated beta casein are called A1 cows, and include breeds like Holstein.

Proline has a strong bond to a small protein called BCM 7, which helps keep it from getting into the milk, so that essentially no BCM 7 is found in the urine, blood or GI tract of old-fashioned A2 cows. On the other hand, histidine, the mutated protein, only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk.

BCM 7 has been shown to cause neurological impairment in animals and people exposed to it, especially autistic and schizophrenic changes. BCM 7 interferes with the immune response, and injecting BCM 7 in animal models has been shown to provoke type 1 diabetes. Dr. Woodford’s book presents research showing a direct correlation between a population’s exposure to A1 cow’s milk and incidence of autoimmune disease, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia.”  Mercola

So where can you buy raw milk?:

A list of farmers in the US who sell raw milk can be found at RealMilk.com

“CURRENT SITUATION FOR RAW MILK SALES IN USA

  • Retail sales are legal in 10 states
  • On-farm sales are legal in 15 states
  • Herd shares are legal in 4 states
  • There is no law on herd shares in 6 states
  • Pet food sales are legal in 4 states, implying that human consumption is feasible
  • Raw milk sales are illegal in 11 states and the District of Columbia

SITUATION IN EUROPE: Raw milk sales legal in England, Wales and most of Europe; sold in vending machines in several European countries.” realmilk.com

Below is one of my favorite videos of a couple using a raw milk vending machine in Slovenia.  There is a built in UV ray to prevent bacteria contamination.  I want one of these on my farm someday.

A friend sent me this link after I posted the above information.  All dairy cows in Missouri have to be hormone free and the cow must be rested if antibiotics are used.  So if you are getting local Missouri milk you don’t have to worry about those.  Grassfed vs organic grain fed vs. conventional grain fed information is also something to look into from the farmer.  A good article with more information about milk and all the options can be found at this blog.

Urban Farming Part 1 of 3

Kevin and I have been working on our backyard this spring.  Moving a ton of dirt so that we can level off the yard to be useful.  We built a retaining wall/raised bed, we are cornering off the 3 chickens, and we are fencing off the dog.  We were able to setup the trampoline which has been SO great for my boys who are literally climbing the walls in our little 100 year old bungalow in Historic NE KC.  Now we are waiting for the weather to decide to really be spring before we plant our seedlings.  The retaining wall will be full of yummy food including strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, herbs, and so much more.  The chickens keep us in eggs and are super easy to care for.  They also supply us with great fertilizer!

We have a fire pit and we love to sit back there roasting brats and singing songs together.  The backyard project is very exciting for us.  The kids can’t wait until we get the sandbox installed under the trampoline(shade for the summer).  We have a front yard project that we will be doing too but….we have to wait for the funds to do it.  A little at a time.  😀  I will be posting more pictures once the seedlings are planted, the chicken fence is up, and the grass fills in.  And then another post in the late summer when the food is plentiful!

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Our backyard.

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Our backyard.

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The side yard.

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The chicken corner.

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Piences of the trampoline that have been there for a year.

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The wall is finished, just got to move all the dirt.

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The ancient retaining wall holds up the alley behind our house. Neighbors peak into our yard.

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Jaxon helping dad hold down the plastic.

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Spreading the chicken compost on the raised bed!

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The retaining wall filled with dirt and compost!

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Chickens eating all the yummy bugs from the upturned dirt.

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Diesel- our guard dog that sleeps with the chickens.

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Burrying cinder blocks to keep the dog in.

Trampoline is up! Takes up half the backyard but it's worth it!
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Kids love the trampoline!

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Singing at the campfire after a hard days work. The kids are all jumping on the trampoline in the dark.

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We replaced the crumbly back stoop and burried some stepping stones.

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Kevin finished the side gate and we laid the stepping stones.

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Side yard- gravel removed, dirt leveled, stepping stones laid out.

Our backyard.Our backyard.The side yard.The chicken corner.Piences of the trampoline that have been there for a year.The wall is finished, just got to move all the dirt.The ancient retaining wall holds up the alley behind our house.  Neighbors peak into our yard.Jaxon helping dad hold down the plastic.Spreading the chicken compost on the raised bed!The retaining wall filled with dirt and compost!Chickens eating all the yummy bugs from the upturned dirt.Diesel- our guard dog that sleeps with the chickens.Burrying cinder blocks to keep the dog in.Trampoline is up! Takes up half the backyard but it's worth it!Kids love the trampoline!Singing at the campfire after a hard days work.  The kids are all jumping on the trampoline in the dark.We replaced the crumbly back stoop and burried some stepping stones.Kevin finished the side gate and we laid the stepping stones.Side yard- gravel removed, dirt leveled, stepping stones laid out.

Homemade Butter

Making homemade butter has never been easier with great appliances like a KitchenAid Mixer.  A gift from my dad 8 years ago my KitchenAid gets daily use at our house.  Below is a gallery of images of the process of making butter from local raw milk cream.  It’s super easy and I know exactly what’s in it.  Cream!  You can also add herbs and salt as desired.

Skim the cream off the top of your raw milk.  Put the cream in your mixer.  Mix on medium/high until whipped cream starts to solidify and then turn speed slower so the buttermilk doesn’t splash out.  Once the butter clumps onto your whisk remove butter from bowl and whisk.  Fill a bowl with ice cold water.  Massage butter into clear water to remove any excess buttermilk(it will keep longer with the uncultured buttermilk removed).  Refresh water and massage butter until water remains clear.  Then place butter on wax paper and you can add salt(will make it last longer) and herbs to taste.  Then shape butter and wrap in wax paper and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Or store in butter dish for daily use.

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Skim cream off the top of raw milk.

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Mix on medium/high

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Cream will start to thicken.

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Soon the beginnings of whipped cream.

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A beautiful whipped cream! Just add sweetner and put on any dessert!

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Then the cream will start to seperate and solidify.

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You can start to see the buttermilk.

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The butter is starting to clump.

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As you finsh mixing the smaller butter particles will stick to the mass on the whisk.

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Almost done.

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All that's left in the mixing bowl is the buttermilk.

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Put butter in ice cold water to remove excess buttermilk.

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Massage the buttermilk out.

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Refresh cold water until the water remains clear after massage.

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Shape butter and wrap in wax paper.

Skim cream off the top of raw milk.Mix on medium/highCream will start to thicken.Soon the beginnings of whipped cream.A beautiful whipped cream!  Just add sweetner and put on any dessert!Then the cream will start to seperate and solidify.You can start to see the buttermilk.The butter is starting to clump.As you finsh mixing the smaller butter particles will stick to the mass on the whisk.Almost done.All that's left in the mixing bowl is the buttermilk.Put butter in ice cold water to remove excess buttermilk.Massage the buttermilk out.Refresh cold water until the water remains clear after massage.Shape butter and wrap in wax paper.