Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome Bubba!

On Sunday April 15th 2012, we welcomed to the world our second little guy, we nicknamed Bubba.

At my last appointment that was at 38 weeks I was measuring between 3.5 - 4cm dialated so we knew he was on his way soon and I wasnt going to make it to my due date. I had another ultrasound to check the babies fluid levels and approximate size. He was measuring 40 week 4 days big and had enough fluids but they said if I dont go into labor naturally before my next appt. they were going to schedule a induction. So knowing that I was prepared to go at anytime. Of course the next couple days I didnt feel any contractions. Saturday we spent the day chilling at home cleaning the house and rearranging furniture.
That evening we put together a puzzle on the floor, and I was having a hard time finding a comfortable position and thinking back on it now was having alot more pressure down there, but wasnt having any braxton hicks or any real contractions at all. Around 10:30pm after everyone went to bed I started having strong braxton hicks. Around 12am I was still up on the computer lol when I had a real strong contraction that actually hurt more than just tightning and cramping in my back that I was having before.. So I decided I was going to go lay down and see if that would help.
About 10 mins later my water broke and the contractions started. We called our people we asked to help watch Boo Boo while we went to the hospital and found someone to come over and stay the night so boo boo could continue to sleep.  This worked out perfect for us because I was nervous to wake him up and leave him somewhere.. Special thanks to boo boos favorite babysitter for saving the night.. lol

We left for the hospital around 1:15am my contractions were about 6 mins apart. We made it to the hospital at 2:00am and got checked in with triage. We got the last bed in triage and they said the girl next to us just got the last labor and delivery room. EEk! At this point we werent to worried because I was still at 4cm when we got there and 80% effaced. So I potentially could be in labor for several more hours before needing a room.. Well they got me all hooked up to the machine to track my contractions and the babies heartbeat. As soon as they got it regulated every time I would have a contraction, his heartrate would dip from 130s to 90s, so the nurse had me roll to my left side to see if that would help. The next set of contractions his heartrate was still dipping, so they rolled me to my other side and put oxygen mask on me and started my IV. This seemed to work for 2 contractions but then it was still dipping low 90s, and each contraction was getting longer and stronger. Finally they checked me again and I had progressed from a 5cm to a 7cm in an hour and so the nurse went to call my dr to see what she wanted to do about the whole situation. My dr was at home and said she would be on her way, and they needed to find me a room. The nurse came in and said "I cant tell you this but if you are feeling pressure we need to get you to a room, are you feeling pressure down there?" I of course said no lol I didnt catch her drift the first time.. lol. Then the next contraction came and she asked me again and I said yes lots! They magically found me a room and started prepping it for delivery.

Once in the labor and delivery room I asked for my epidural. The nurses said it was too late for that and that the anesthesiologist wouldnt make it in time because there were others in line in front of me. I tried bargaining with them for a while before I accepted that this was going to have to happen without one. EEK! I was already having extremely painful contractions I couldnt imagine it getting worse. LOL.

They checked me again and I was at a 9cm and feeling the urge to push (which by the way is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world especially when everyone is telling you to fight it and breathe through it and try to relax) haha.. The stand-in doctor was in the room now and had an extremely worried look on his face (thanks thats reassuring) and I heard my dr was about 10 mins away. Luckily she made in in 3 contractions and as soon as she entered the room I started pushing and 4 pushes later Bubba made his grand entrance at 4:49am! Apparently he had the cord wrapped around his shoulder and head so everytime I had a contraction it was pinching off the cord.

 It was such a relief when I heard him start screaming and I could tell he was going to be ok. Right away I noticed he looked so much like Boo Boo did when he was born. They took him to the table next to me and started cleaning him up and checking his vitals. He scored a 8/9, which is great.

He checked out fine and is a healthy baby boy. We waited to call and text our friends and family till it was morning because we didnt want anyone to wait up all night waiting to hear if we had the baby and he not come till night.. lol but that wasnt our story this time. Everyone was super surprised he came so fast and early in the morning but they were happy to hear he made it out ok.

My mom was already flying in that day and so we had to arrange for someone to pick her up from the airport and bring her to our house. That was alot to ask considering it was about 250 miles total she had to put on her truck round trip that day. Special thanks to her for doing that for us!!

My mom brought Boo Boo down to meet his new brother and he was very excited! Earlier that day I had recieved flowers and a balloon from my inlaws and Boo Boo was excited to meet his brother but the balloon was far more interesting.. LOL

We got out of the hospital the next day and it was 81 degrees out and sunny. I over dressed Bub in blue and grey sports ball fleece jammies and a cotton hat and mittens.. LOL but to be fair when I packed my hospital bag it was snowing and 34 degrees.. I had no clue in a week the weather would be so dramatically different!

            This was April 14th 2012 the day before bubba was born

We had just got hit by a huge snow storm 2 days before Bub decided to come, and I was very worried I would go into labor and not be able to get to the hospital that is 45 mins away because the highway was closed. Fortunately Saturday afternoon the temps were high enough that the snow was melting and the roads were clearing up. 
Our New Family!
Boo Boo & Bubba

Bubba 8lbs 7oz, 21inches
April 15th 2012 @ 4:49am

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What is Renewable WIND Energy??

I know alot of people who dont have a clue what a wind turbine is, they just say "Oh those big, white, windmill looking things" This is always after they ask why we live where we do..

Here is a picture of some.

So to clear up some common misconceptions about wind energy and wind turbines, I took the time to interview the site manager at the local "wind farm" project (aka my hubby) to answer some of your possible questions.

Things that aren't true about wind turbines:
they are loud, they kill birds, they make more wind/ effect the weather, they use electricity, govt pays for them.

We all take energy for granted in the US. When you turn on a light or plug in your cell phone charger it works instantly doesnt it? In other countries thats not always the case, there is an energy shortage. Blackouts are common and energy isnt as reliable. We are fortunate here in the states to have to land available to develop renewable energy sources.

I just never thought about it, but we all pay for electricity so where does it come from?

Most Common Sources of Energy:

Fossil Fuels:
  1. Coal Power Plants
  2. Natural Gas
  3. Oil
Fossil fuels supply about 70 percent of all energy used in the United States. Some examples of fossil fuels are coal, lignite, peat, oil and natural gas.

Nuclear power: is the second most commonly used source of energy in the United States. Increasingly used since the 1950s, nuclear power accounts for 14 percent of the total power used in the United States.

Renewable Resources:
  1. Hydroelectric Power (dam/ water)
  2. Wind Energy
  3. Solar Energy
Hydroelectic Power, the water is sent through the hydroelectric power plant and the kinetic energy of the water is converted into other usable forms of energy. About 10 percent of the electricity used in the United States comes from hydroelectric power.

In order to use wind turbines, the wind speed must be more than 12 to 14 miles per hour. From 2008 to 2009, the generation of energy from wind power increased by 33.5 percent, making wind energy 1.9 percent of all energy produced in the United States.
Sunlight can also be converted into electricity using solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells.
Now that we all know where energy comes from (a gist), So lets move on to why renewable energy?

The obvious answer to that question is to renew, in this economy everyone is taking steps to save money and resources somewhere in their life. Whether its using reusable grocery bags at the store, or bringing your own coffee mug to starbucks and having them fill it up, to using reusuable cloth diapers!

So how is wind energy renewable? how can you reuse it?

I could google all day an find all these answers from people who could be accurate or they could be guessing on the topic. So instead I interviewed my hubby who has worked in the wind energy field for the last 6 years and who is now the site manager of a wind project. So I am guessing he knows the facts.. Before we get into the interview I put together a slideshow of pictures I have taken or got from others to show you them in action!

Wind Energy - making a free slideshow
If your on mobile the photo slideshow doesnt work.

Interview with Site Manager Dan F. Wind Project, Mojave, CA, April 2012
  • So how exactly does power get made from a wind turbine? "Basically, as the wind blows past the turbine blades, it causes the blades to turn. The blades are attached to a shaft which goes into the nacelle of the turbine. That shaft is attached to a large gear. That large gear turns slowly, but it is attached to a smaller gear that turns much faster. A shaft is attached to the smaller gear, which goes inside an electrical generator. The electrical generator is basically an electromagnet, and as the shaft turns, electricity is generated and transported down and out of the turbine on cables."
  • How is this process renewable? "Wind is the fuel that powers this type of energy, wind is free, it doesnt cost anyone anything to make it. It is always there and being renewed naturally. "
  • How is it stored or moved to be used? "For the most part, the electricity cannot be stored. Some companies are working on developing that technology, but it is not widespread at this time. Instead, the turbines are connected with underground cables to a substation. The substation increases the voltage and is connected to other substations through overhead power lines. The connected substations are a part of the electric grid. Also attached to the grid are substations which take the electricity, lower the voltage, and transfer it to homes and business on other overhead or underground cables."
  • Is there a possibility the power can be stolen? "Electric meters are used to measure electricity going back and forth all along the grid. The system would know if electricity was missing. Electricity and power is constantly “lost” to the air because transmission systems are not perfect."
  • So how much does it cost to make or put up these turbines, and who is paying to put them up? "Cost varies greatly based on a number of factors including the size of the turbines, location of the project, terrain, schedule, time of the year, existing infrastructure, new infrastructure, environmental requirements, distance from transmission lines for the power, etc, etc. In general though, on a per kilowatt basis, Wind Energy plant construction costs are right in line with the costs associated with building a clean coal, nuclear, or natural gas power plant. Hydroelectric, Solar, and Geothermal tend to be more expensive than Wind Energy. There are multiple levels of financing and investment companies that develop the park, but in short, the company that sells the power to the local utility company, who in turn sells it to consumers, is the one paying to build the park."
  • How much energy is produced from one turbine? "At peak production, each turbine can produce just over 3 MW (mega-watts) of energy. Obviously, the turbines do not produce at maximum output all the time. The average household uses around 9000 KW-h (kilowatt hours) per year, so in short, each turbine provides enough power for around 800 homes. What about 100 turbines? 80,000 homes."
  • How many does it take to energize an entire city? "Depends on the size of the city. New York City is estimated to use around 40 Billion KW-h per year. The entire wind energy network is the United States has a capacity of just under 46 GW (giga-watts), meaning enough to power 3 New York Cities every year. 100 3MW turbines would produce enough energy for a city of 50,000-60,000 people.
  • What is the main benefit of using wind energy vs nuclear energy? "Wind Energy does not require any fuel to operate, does not produce any harmful by-products, and is generally considered far safer than nuclear energy. Wind Energy also does not have the social and political stigma associated with nuclear energy."
  • Who specifically benefits from your project? & How? "I would say everyone. Renewable Energy is far better for the environment than other sources of energy such as fossil fuels and nuclear. Impact to the environment through construction is also minimized because of the relatively small amount of land required for the turbines to be built upon. In most areas, farming and other uses of the land can be performed right up next to the turbines and roads."
  • Does wind energy help the community in any way? "The local economy is helped with the creation of jobs and all of the money that is spent locally on both construction materials and stimulus to the economy from the employment. Housing, restaurants, local business’ all benefit."
  • Does wind energy destroy the environment in any way? There are some effects of course, but they are far less than the impacts from traditional power plants such as coal or natural gas. Impact to the land and wild life is minimized and mitigated as much as possible. Impacts to birds are widely misrepresented by anti-wind groups and the majority is propaganda. Again, traditional power plants kill and harm far more wildlife than wind turbines."
  • Are there requirements for where these "wind farms" have to be located? or can they be put up anywhere? "Wind Farms could be built just about anywhere the wind blows, but they are located in areas that have the strongest and most reliable winds. The energy generated is cheaper if it is more consistant, which makes those locations better. There are also other considerations such as ease of construction, environmental impacts, distance to population centers that require the electricity, etc."
  • Could someone put up a smaller scale turbine on their land to power their property? "Yes. There are small scale turbines available that people can install on their land to power their property. Some utility companies even allow the turbines to be connected to the grid and extra electricity can be sold back to the utility for use by others. "
  • What do you see for the future of wind energy? What about solar energy? A number of states have renewable energy initiatives requiring a certain percentage of their energy to come from renewable sources. This will continue to drive the industry. The size of turbines will continue to grow in order to take advantage of areas with less reliable wind resources. Wind turbines will also be installed off-shore in the ocean or in lakes to take advantage of consistant wind resources in those areas. Smart grid systems and electricity storage systems will also continue to be developed. All renewable energy, including solar, will continue to grow and become a stronger part of our economy going forward."
  • Is there a place people can go to support wind energy? "There are a number of resources available on the internet. is the American Wind Energy Association and they have a number of valuable resources for people looking to learn more about or support the industry. They have a free monthly trade publication that usually has some good articles and information as well. The US Department of Energy is also a good source of information."


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Preparing for a Newborn- adventures in cloth diaper making

Please let me note, this blog isn't going to be all about cloth diapers and babies.. That said it is a huge part of my life right now, and honestly probably due to the fact that I am all pumped up with hormones ready to have a baby, its all I really think about lately.. Trust me, I will write about other things soon enough! In fact I am drafting a blog post this week on Renewable Energy with an interview with the site manager of a local wind project.. LOL aka my hubs!

Anyways now onto what I have been up to.. It's been a short 9 months, they aren't kidding when they say the second one around goes two times as fast!
As you might have guessed we have been making alot of preparations for the new little guy. Cleaning all the baby clothes, rebuilding all the baby furniture, buying new stuff we didn't have the dough for from the first babe, and of course cleaning the house like a crazy person.. (ok that's just me and by now you would think I would see it is pointless) Silly hormones.

Another adventure I embarked on recently was, I decided the 12 onesize cloth diapers I already have wasnt enough, and that I needed to make this baby some newborn cloth diapers for him to wear in the month or so before he fits in the onesize diapers. You see onesize diapers are great and all but if you have a baby under 8lbs the onesize diapers can be too bulky. Not to mention I seriously love my cloth diaper stash and until the umbilical cord and circumscion is healed I dont really want to risk getting them ruined with vasoline. If you have no clue what I am talk about here, might just want to give up with this post now, I am up late writing this and I am too tired to go into further details.. Might want to refer to my blog post about why I use cloth diapers.

So on to the making of these newborn cloth diapers!!

I had been searching for a pattern forever that included aplix closure, **double leg gussets**, onesize or sized option and a pul outer, microfleece inner pocket design. Well I finally found it! Huge thanks to Krista at Rocket Bottoms!! She made the perfect pattern I had been searching for.. After reading over the pattern I wrote down the list of supplies I would need, and started researching.
Not going to lie, it took me a week and a half or so to track down all the materials I really needed to start this project. Sure I could have drivin to JoAnns and bought the materials all there but for one that is 45 min drive and with boo boo a huge headache! (men and craft stores just dont get along no matter what age they are) So I went with the online option hoping to get some better quality diaper supplies.

Heres what I found:
Loop fabric- ComfyCreations:.$0.55/yd 2"
Natures Fabrics $9/yd 6"
CDMF- (Cuddle Dry Microfleece) ComfyCreations, Sewit, KITG YG- yahoo groups
Diaper Sewing supplies- 6.29/yd

PUL Prints- RocketDiaper Ebay, Diaper Sewing supplies, Kids in the Garden, Wazoodle
Mint Zoo- 12.50/yd
Retro Owls
Grey Ice Giraffe

Notions: Diaper Sewing Supplies, Wazoodle
Elastic- .38/yd
hook tab-.78/yd

6 diapers from 1.5 yards
=$8/ diaper

After a week I got all my materials from 3 different people. I cut out my pattern and started on my sample diaper, that I was making with spare materials I already had on hand.

The pattern and instructions were very easy to follow for a novice sewer like myself. I did have to log on to her blog to see the video of her doing the welt pocket opening to figure that out but it was pretty simple once I saw her do it. The inner leg gussets could use a video instructional if you ask me but I figured it out and mine turned out fine.. It's just a little not clear about where to pin down in the right places..
The first one I thought didn't turn out half bad, and I didn't pull my hair out trying to figure it out so I considered that a good sign to proceed with making the rest. LOL

Once I got all my materials I was super pumped to start!! I cut out the PUL and CDMF for three newborn sized cloth diapers all at once.

At 34 weeks it was a hustle to maneuver the floor to cut those bad boys out (what was I thinking starting this now?) LOL

Next day I started on the first one, sewing the inner top & bottom, & welt pocket, then pinning to outer and sewing all around, adding back and leg elastic and then turn & topstitching. I found it is really hard to stop sewing one diaper once I got going and I planned to make one each day while Boo Boo was at preschool. That gives me 3 hours. I was so happy when I finished this one because it turned out a heck of alot better looking than the sample diaper I had made..
The next 2 diapers went smoothly and I am very satisfied with them, just hope they fit good, and we can get some used out of them. I will do a followup post on my review of the fit and sizing on the new baby, with pictures of course!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why Cloth Diapers?

How I got into using Cloth Diapers..

When I was pregnant with Boo Boo, I never once thought about using cloth diapers, that was 3 years ago and I thought people who used cloth diapers were still doing the whole, prefolds, diaper cover and rubber pants thing. Like what our mothers & grandmothers had to do.

Well in August of 2010 I was at a playdate with some of my local Moms Like Me friends and their babies and two of them had their kids in "modern cloth diapers" and they of course were showing them off to all of us! I cant remember for sure what kind they were wearing but I was so impressed by how cute they were! But I still wasnt sold on the idea of cleaning them myself. I again thought of dunking diapers in the toilet and that grossed me out! Even though at this point I was a pro at cleaning poo from clothes and bedding (Boo Boo was a blowout baby from the beginning) So why would cleaning it from diapers be any different?

Well I continued to follow my friends on their cloth diapering expirence and kept the idea on the back burner.. In October of 2010 after Boo Boo had a horrible rash for a couple days that butt cream just wasnt getting rid of, I needed to do something quick, everytime I put a disposable on him he screamed! I had heard a new diaper store that just opened in my town and I thought I would just go and browse and see what they had available. I think I did ask my cloth diapering moms what they suggested beforehand and kept that in mind. When I got to the store I was a little overwhelmed, I had no idea there were that many kinds and styles of cloth diapers! (prefold & covers, all in ones, all in twos, pocket diapers, fitteds, one size, hybrids) I knew I wasnt interested in prefolds and covers, although they have come along way from the kind our parents used. The whole system seemed too much for me, I wanted something as easy to put on as a disposable. I was instantly attracted to SoftBums for that reason. I had no idea the shell could be used multiple times a day if just wet, I just knew I liked how it fit on the teddy bear they had available to try out diapers, haha. I bought one shell and 2 pods and one super pod. I thought it was alot of money up front but I was desperate for something this soft against my babies butt and All Things Diapers did have a return policy if the diaper didnt work out for us I could bring it back for something else.. I fell in love with the system and cloth diapering for that matter once I realized it wasn't any more work than disposables, and the extra laundry I didnt mind doing for him to wear such cute comfy diapers! Oh and his rash went away within the next day!

So why use cloth diapers vs disposables?

  • For us we like the idea that they are a good investment. If you know my hubs than you will understand that one, he is a money man. If you take care of your cloth diapers and treat them well when you are done using them you can sell them. Thats right, and if your lucky and they are in really good shape you can get up to 40% of what you spent on them back! If your really lucky and the print is now retired and hard to find, people will buy them for the same price as new. Although if you dont take care of them and you dont use them enough to get your monies worth out of them, and you can find anyone to buy them.. then you lose. But when you buy a disposable and use it once you lose as well.
Lets look at logistics: a disposable diaper will cost you $.18-.43cents each, depending on sales and what size you are buying, (average is .22cents) times that by how many you use a day (4-8 average) times that by 365, thats $482 a year you just put on your kid, he pooped on and then you threw in the garbage. Now most kids wear diapers for 3 years, so thats $1,445 total spent on disposable diapers from birth to potty, thats not including disposable wipes! Now lets look at cloth diapers, average cost for one diaper is $18 a diaper + $5 for soakers, you would need about 6-8 to cloth diaper full time washing everyday, 12 if washing every other day & 24 soakers. So we wash every other so thats $336 for the 12 diapers & 24 soakers, add $20 for wet bags, $30 for cloth wipes, and $13 for detergent every 6 mos. Thats $444 for diapers from birth to potty. It would be less if you bought all your diapers used, but if your going to be using them for 3 years you might want to invest in them new so that they are in better condition when you are done with them. So you have a better shot at selling them. You could expect a return of $250 from your diaper stash. Guess what else is super nice about cloth diapers? You can use them on multiple kids, so that makes your money go even further!!
  • Some people like the enviromental factor of cloth diapers, and in the business we are in (renewable energy) you would think that would be a big part for us too.. but like many people in this world, if you cant see the waste and harmful effects its hard to care about what you are throwing away. I know that it may take 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose but I dont see dumps piled high with diapers all over the place. If they are burning the waste and that is going into the atmosphere and destroying the earth that way, I can see how that is bad but I never hear news stories or articles about it.. So like I said, I understand and agree its hard to care about it when you cant see the damage that is being done.. Thats not to say I dont care, but it's just not my #1 reason we use cloth diapers, thats all.
  • I do however care about chemicals on my babies skin, and if you have ever opened a clean disposable diaper and smell it, it smells like alot of chemicals! If you ever take off a soaked diaper after being worn for a couple hours it has increased in size 3x, have you ever wondered what chemicals can make that possible? and they are being soaked into your babies skin..?? That is kinda scary! I like that cloth diapers you dont have to worry about that, its cotton, just like your clothes. What we are supposed to have on our skin. not paper and chemicals.. right?
  • Last reason, a baby a year old and older is for some odd reason very interested in taking off their diaper. It doesnt matter if its clean or dirty, they like to take it off.. Well cloth diapers can come in snaps or velcro closure and that is when the snaps come in handy, they are much more difficult for them to take off and that saves you a morning of having to clean their bed!
That said, I have spent alot of time with trial and error. Not every diaper works for everyone, and some diapers work better for babies at different stages.. I have tried several different brands and kinds of cloth diapers and I still go back to Softbums AI2 diapers. They are the only cloth diaper on the market that is a true one size diaper, with their slide2size (drawstring) leg elastic adjustment system you can customize the size of the diaper each diaper change or as they grow.. from birth to potty training. SoftBums also being an (all in two diaper system) you can just change out the soaker pod if wet and keep the same shell and use it 3 times a day, before washing. Once the new little one is here I will be taking lots of pictures of the way this system works for us.

If you are looking into using cloth diapers or just want some more factual information about them. Here are a few resources I have found useful!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


After months of thinking, I finally decided to start my very own blog. Why now? That is a good question and honestly I dont have an answer for you. Apparently, I have too much time on my hands and wanted to add another thing I need to do in my daily list of crap I find myself doing when I should be cleaning or taking a well deserved nap. LOL

Another reason why is I spend alot of time making things and I want to share them with people other than bombarding my facebook friends. If I had a specific place to unload my crafts and food pictures into and then when people go to my site, they kinda have to know what they are getting into.

I have been journaling two babysites for both the kiddos and now I am thinking I will just combined them on here as well, save myself the time. I will probably keep the babysites up for future use to look back at and update their growth charts in there as well..

Well I hope you enjoy reading my spelling errors and typos and all the other jarrgon that I pile into a blog post each week! Trust me, I know myself I am 8 years out of high school, and dont get much practice these days with grammar. I am only half joking..