Just Heather

I have recently found the Discovery channel Planet Green so I have a new love. My favorite show is Wa$ted. I thought we were doing so well, but I think Annabelle & Holter would still have a lot to say about our lifestyle. I know they would like that I have started taking Gladware to restaurants rather than bring home styrofoam. I know we are doing well with composting (but now I want one of these) and recycling.

I switched from paper napkins to cloth. I stopped using paper towels (well, except for greasy bacon) in favor of cheap bar mop towels (2 for $1 at Dollar Tree). We have been cloth diapering for 2 months now and it is going well. I can’t even let myself think of all the money and landfill space we wasted by not trying it sooner. If I were going to start all over, there are things I would do differently:

  • more prefold diapers—we only have 3 good ones, but she’s a toddler. A newborn would probably need 15-20. I would like to have about 5-6 more for now.
  • a larger diaper pail—we currently use a small step can for wet diapers and a tote on the back of the toilet to soak dirty diapers.
  • We need to get some type of holder for the diaper bag. I generally just grab a plastic bag from a store to bring home the soiled diapers, but they make bags that would probably do a better job of controlling odor.
  • We are still working on an overnight solution. The best solution would be to get Lorelai to actually sit on the potty at night and first thing in the morning, but that idea isn’t flying with her. We use a convoluted system of prefolds, doubler & an absorbent cover, but it gives her a bubble butt and I’m sure there is a better way.

We are doing well with some things:

  • I only bought 3 Bum Genius diapers. I use them for when we are out and about or need a less bulky diaper for certain outfits. I rarely use all 3 in a day so I think we are set there.
  • Snappis—the greatest cloth diapering invention ever
  • Thirsties wraps—this could go in both categories because they are great covers, but I need more.
  • I didn’t buy one of the toilet shower kits because the toilet in the girls’ bathroom is right next to the shower. The hand-held shower head reaches for rinsing when needed (it rarely is).
  • Cloth wipes—It didn’t take long to figure out that the two should go hand in hand. Without having a diaper to wrap the dirty wipes in for the garbage, it was a bit messy. I make my own with baby washcloths and a simple solution (1 part baby oil, 1 part baby wash and 3 parts water). Tossing these in the pail with the dirty diapers is easy and painless.
  • I run a quick load of diapers every night. I think even if I had a larger supply, I would do it this way. On the few occasions I have gone a little longer between loads, the diaper pail is a bit stinky and the dirty diapers are harder to get clean.

Today was the last day of school for my oldest daughter. Her last day of elementary school. I feel like I should be waxing nostalgic or something, but I mostly feel a strange mixture of relief and dread.

Relief that the year is finally over. It was not a fun end to her elementary experience. Let’s just say I really hope the rumors of her teacher’s impending retirement are true, for the sake of all future 4th graders. I’m temporarily relieved of twice daily carpool duties. The girls are attending a few day camps that require transportation, but that is only a week or two here and there. I’m also relieved of my PTO webmaster duties. Whew!

My calendar pen is finding a bit of relief this summer, but I do still try to keep the girls on a routine for sanity’s sake. They also have a few summer activities and camps, but not to the extent of our regular weekly jaunts.

The dread is on many levels. For the immediate future, I am dreading the fights, whining and tattling that comes from having more than one child. I’m dreading the heat and the outdoors. I’m just not an outdoor person, but the girls definitely are and some of them still require supervision.

As the summer wears on, I’ll be dreading the return to school. I’m uneasy about our decision to leave Stacia in the public school system. I think it was the best decision for us at the time, but I worry she’ll get lost in the shuffle and continue to struggle the way she did this year. Her school struggles are strictly a failure of the system. She’s a bright kid. She tests well. She reads profusely. She loves to learn. She’s just not great at assignments and deadlines. She was also bringing home a lot of homework for things she hadn’t yet learned. If I’m going to have to teach her math every day, I might as well homeschool.

Next year is a different school, albeit in the same system. I am hopeful that it will be a different story, but I am reserving judgment. If all else fails, I know I can pull her out at any time and send her to Brenia’s Montessori school. That has been a complete success story. She started kindergarten a year early and is ready to advance to 1st grade. Her teachers have some minor reservations about her social skills so we are trying an interim option. She’ll stay in her current classroom, but take academic lessons with the elementary class. They hope to fully transition her after winter break.

I still contend we made the right decision for her. She stands a head taller than 1st graders. She’s smart—too smart, sometimes. She was reading by her 5th birthday. She is a quick learner (I had to show her how to tie shoes only one time). She just wouldn’t have been well served by waiting until this fall.

My hope for the summer is that I can let go of all my concerns (at least for the summer), relax and enjoy my kids.