Monday, April 30, 2012

Parenting isn't all or nothing, people.

Way back when before having Bean, and even when I was pregnant, I thought I knew how I was going to parent. I read a jillion books, magazine articles, research articles, online articles... I read, a lot. I knew what was right and what was wrong when it came to parenting. I knew what I would and would not do, what I would and would not allow. Some things I was stubborn about and didn't back down - and for that, I'm thankful and proud of the research I did and the decisions I made. But there are some other things that I changed my mind about when some obstacles popped up in the middle of my road - and for that, I'm thankful and proud of my decisions.

Case in point: Diapers.

  (Just look at them!! Aren't they beautiful!!)

I am a cloth diapering Momma. I loooooooooooove our cloth diapers. They're so super cute, they're way cheaper than disposables in the long run, they don't destroy the planet, they're so easy,  they aren't chock full of chemicals, they're so soft and fluffy..... I love them! I didn't have one single solitary problem with CDs until Madeline weaned off of breastmilk. So, for the first 17 months of her life she was in cloth diapers and we were both loving it. Then, on New Years Eve, she had her last drop of breastmilk and within 2 days she had a horrible rash.

Sure, she had the occasional rash due to teething before then, but they could be cleared up in a day of daiper-free time and some Bordeaux's Butt Paste. But after her last drop of breastmilk? Forget it. This rash was vicious. My poor baby would pee and then instantly start screaming. She'd poo and cry and scream for 20 mins after I changed her diaper. It was horrible. 

At first I didn't think it was related to the CDs, I thought it MUST be teething. But the diaper free time and Bordeaux's didn't help. I thought it was something she ate, but after not eating ANYTHING acidic or out of the ordinary for a week and still being rashy I started to suspect the diapers. 

So I stripped them. I stripped them using every single stripping technique I could find online. Nothing helped. I caved. I practically ran to Target (fave store, ever, by the way) bought her some diapers and went home. Ripped off her cloth diap, COVERED her entire bottom with rash cream and put her in a disposable. The rash was 50% better by morning. 100% better in 2 days. I couldn't believe it. My beloved cloth diapers were hurting her bum.

Really, it's her pee and poo that was hurting her.... something in my breastmilk countered something in her pee and poo... it calmed it down, changed the acidity or pH or something, so when the BM wasn't there anymore her waste burned her poor skin. With cloth diapers the wetness from the pee or the yuck from the poo just sit there against your baby's butt. But with disposables the gel and chemicals in the diaper actually pull the wetness away from baby's skin. 

    (Target UP&UP diapers are my fave of the 'sposies.)

So, as much as I haaaaaaate all the crap that is in disposables, and I haaaaaaaaaaate how bad they are for the earth, they've become a part-time necessity in our home. I still put our CDs on her when we're home (when she's not just running around bottomless), but at naptime and bedtime when it'd be longer than an hour-ish in between diaper changes she's in disposables. And most of the time when we're out running errands and will be out of the house for a long time she'll be in a disposable - especially with the weather getting warmer.

So, if we have more babies I plan on loving all over my cloth diapers all over again, but if/when the time comes that they need to be in disposables part time that's what I'll do. And that's ok, folks. Because parenting isn't about things being black and white, right and wrong... it's about doing what is right for that particular child in that particular situation. 

Can I get an AMEN?!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!

This is what my living room is supposed to look like:

Notice that you can SEE the carpet.

However, every single day THIS is what my living room actually looks like:

Madeline takes the living room from picture #1 to picture #2 in about 25 mins. It's a skill.

Something I'm proud to report: at nearly 21 months old she will (help me) clean it up! I need to help her put her books back on the shelf, and I put her ride-on toys back where they're supposed to go, but she'll do the rest. I say, "Ok, it's time to clean up! Lets put your toys back in the basket!" and she does. Slowly at first, but then the more I "YAY!!!" and clap for her the more she gets into it and the faster she goes.

I know that eventually she'll look me in the eye and tell me NO when I ask and I'll have to put my mommy-pants on and deal with that attitude accordingly, but for now? For now I'm glad that my big girl is willing and able to clean up her mess before bedtime.

Warning: If you EVER come to my house between the hours of 9am-8pm my house WILL look like picture #2, and you're responsible for watching where you're walking and not breaking your neck. You've been warned. ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Living in an apartment we (obviously) don't have a yard. But that doesn't mean that I don't love the outdoors and nature and want to enjoy it! My favorite afternoons are those when the weather is just right and I can open the sliding door and listen to my windchime's music and the birds singing right outside my patio. It makes sense, then, that I went out and bought a bird feeder to hang on the tree just outside my patio. Maddy, the dogs, and I love to watch the birds at the feeder.... The squirrels also love the bird feeder. Problem is - they eat all the birdseed! They scare the birds away, and have already broke one feeder by chewing through the rope - thus spilling ALL the seed onto the ground - their main objective I'm sure, since they then had a shmorgishborg at their disposal! After weeks of angrily trying to outsmart them - and failing miserably - I decided to let them have something they are allowed to eat. Enter: the squirrel corn feeder. Turns out, it's equally enjoyable (and funnier!) to watch the squirrels eating the corn!!

It's even funnier when he ALMOST falls, dangles by one leg, twirls around by one leg, and then somehow with his He-Man-Squirrel strength does a sit up and grabs the branch with his little rodent fingers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

I'm always trying to find new recipes that both my hubby and I will like. See, I'm a vegetarian... my husband is NOT. Since officially becoming a vegetarian almost 3 years ago I've become much more open minded about trying new flavors, new textures, and new 'genres' of food. As a healthy vegetarian you HAVE to expand your horizons. If I didn't expand my food choices I'd be living off of macaroni and cheese, PB&J sandwiches, soup, and cheese pizza. I used to be afraid of trying new things, my husband still is. A lot of times I'll make a new recipe and I'll love it. Jeff won't. He'll pick out all the 'good stuff' and declare that it's not his favorite dish I've ever made. I keep trying, though, and the ones that he DOES like? They get printed out, kept in my recipe book, to make over and over.

These southwest egg rolls are one of my victory recipes. Every time I make them Jeff mentions, at least twice, how good they are. Full disclosure: he also comments on all the 'green stuff' inside, but he doesn't pick it out and still says he loves them. So, he eats them, and he eats green stuff. Win win.

I will give you the recipe as I found it on, but know that it's extremely customizable. I made it by the recipe the first 5+ times I made it, but then one day I had some ground beef that needed to be used up before it went bad, so I made the recipe by the book and then split it in half and added the browned hamburger meat to one half of it. That way, I got my vegetarian egg rolls, but Hubs got his with some meat inside. He was REALLY in heaven that night! Also, if I plan ahead I like to pick up some cilantro at the store and add it, because..... cilantro is delicious. But it's not in the recipe. I've also been known to add some leftover brown rice to them. Helps bulk them up (read: you get more egg rolls at the end of it!) Please believe, they are good just as the original recipe is written. And they're easy. Give them a try, you will not be disappointed. And if when you decide that you love them, go ahead and start adding in extras!

I made them last night and took some pictures of the process. Last night's egg rolls had an about 1 cup of leftover brown rice, about a fistful of fresh chopped cilantro, and half of them had browned ground elk meat.

They also re-heat well.  In the microwave - 30 seconds, flip, 30 seconds. done. They lose their crunch in the microwave, but they're still delish.  Or, you can wrap them in some aluminum foil and re-heat them in the oven.... 300*F for 10-15 mins should be good, and they'll still be crunchy.

Enjoy! :)

Here is the recipe (from


  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (about 24 total)

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Mix well to blend. Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center. Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free. Dip a finger in water or beaten egg and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner. Finish rolling and press to seal closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning halfway through baking. Serve warm with salsa.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some days, you just have to crank the jams and have a dance party.

She's a dance machine. I love this girl to bits. ♥