Friday, July 30, 2010


I keep putting off ordering my supplies for soapmaking. Just to get started, I know it's going to run me just over $100 (just for my ingredients.) Because I don't intend to make a business out of it, I feel guilty spending that much money. BUT I know that I will be able to control the ingredients, making a much safer and healthier (not to mention more beneficial) product for my family. I also know that the large amount of soap that I will be able to make with that initial investment is worth it. I almost had myself convinced tonight, until I saw the $22 shipping charge. And I just. Couldn't. Do it. I recently got a digital scale, the immersion blender, and a pyrex mixing cup large enough for my lye mixing.... but I still need the lye, oils, and goggles. The initial investment doesn't include any molds because I will use pringles cans to start out with.... but I have an 18 bar mold in mind and am telling myself that I can make it myself. If I can sew, I can certainly woodcraft, right? I keep telling myself that Mary Jane Butters is right on, and that since I bought myself a new drill, there is NO REASON that I can't own my own circular hand saw. I think that the most important thing is confidence, and being comfortable with your tools. I can do this, right?

The other dilema that I have, involves Goat's Milk. I really would love to be making Goat's Milk soap. The obvious problem is that I do not have any GOATS. lol. Goat's Milk has always been ideal for my eczema in the winter especially, and it's what I use right now and have been using for months and months. But when I make my own, I don't have access to the goat's milk. I know just how hard raw goat's milk can be to find.

I wish I could blog longer tonight, because these were just excerpts from my brain, but I have to get the diapers washed and dried and folded and put away before 9:30 am (and it's midnight now) and I also need to sleep sometime ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've been Mis-Diagnosed!

I am so relieved. My mental illness has FINALLY been properly diagnosed. All these years I have lived in fear, thinking that I have OCD. It's actually NOT OCD that I suffer from, on the contrary, it's an often un-recognized disease that seems to mostly affect stay-at-home moms across the country. Really across the world. I don't know how it took so long to diagnose! I have OCU! That's right! COMPLETELY different from OCD! Yet the effects of OCU can often lead you to THINK that you have OCD! The confusion is understandable. OCU is the Overwhelming Choking Urge. Get your minds out of the gutter folks. It's that daily inner struggle that I fight.... the overwhelming urge to choke someone. Really they considered calling it OSU, but they didn't want to get it confused with Ohio State, which we all know is a very peaceful and non-violent school....just ask the wimpy OSU graduates you know (oh! BURN! JP are you hearing this?!)

Really, over the years, I am coming to realize that I am just fighting a losing battle. the OCU is not going to go away. Allow me to give you a few examples.... causes if you will... of this dreaded disease.

1. CAUSE: *someone* drinks the last 7-up in the fridge. They do NOT replace it with the brand new case of 7-up that is on the back porch that was supposed to be carried down to the basement fridge three days ago. They also put the empty cardboard carton on the basement floor next to the fridge... not in the recycle pile. EFFECT: When I decided that I can have my pop of the day, I get to the fridge and there is none. I have to go back up the stairs, get the case off the porch, take it down, put it in the fridge, and then take the empty cardboard back up to the recycle. Resulting in.... OCU.... the overwhelming urge to choke *someone!*

2. CAUSE: *someone* leaves the toilet paper roll on the side of the sink. *someone else* goes in to wash their hands and gets water ALL OVER the vanity surface, resulting in a pool that the toilet paper roll then soaks up like a wick. EFFECT: I have to pee. I finally find a second to run to the bathroom (most likely about 3 hours after I first recognize that I need to go) and when I need to wipe, the entire bottom half of the toilet paper is wrinkly and wet, resulting in .... OCU.... the overwhelming urge to choke *someone!*

Do you see where this is going? To an outside observer, this looks like classic OCD. I am cranky because the toilet paper roll wasn't where I wanted it to be. I am cranky because the pop isn't where I wanted it to be. This just means that I have a problem, Right? I want things my way? I want things put back in the place and manner that I have designated, for what appears to be no apparent reason except for the fact that I want things MY way? Right? WRONG. What we really have here is a mis-diagnosis. Classic, really. It's underlying OCU causing all the problems. It's the people in the house not being considerate of others. It starts small, and manifests into a huge huge huge issue, not to be ignored.

More examples....
If you are responsible for the children, and take them off with you, the honorable thing to do when you get home? remove the dirty diapers from the diaper bag and put them in the diaper pail. Rocket Science? I think not. This is just something that us moms know how to do. It's something that anyone CAN do. But when you don't do it, and we find them two days later, usually just AFTER we washed diapers, and the whole diaper bag stinks.... well, that causes OCU. Same thing with rinsing out bottles of milk or sippy cups. Not rocket science.

If you pee your pants, and you take yourself to the potty and wipe and close the lid and flush... can't you handle putting the wet panties in the hamper? Not rocket science. You've been taught. When someone's watching you do this, you automatically put them in the hamper like it's nothing. I know you're three, but stepping on wet underwear in random locations is not my idea of a good time.

Okay, I am ranting now. I just plain look like a complainer. But I just want you to know that the reason I feel overwhelmed and can't even accomplish my everyday tasks is directly related to OCU.... and the overwhelming urge to choke you when you constantly don't follow through and I am constantly picking up after you and getting sidetracked. THAT is why it's so hard to focus. It has nothing to do with Facebook. Or Foursquare. Or text messaging.

Now What was I doing again!??

Monday, July 26, 2010

What a horrible weekend!

I would give anything to be asleep right now. I know, that sounds nothing like me, right? Well I fully intended to be in bed early tonight, but things (of course) just didn't happen that way. It's been a crazy few days.

For some reason I didn't feel well on Thursday morning, and spent the morning in bed until about noon. It was not pleasant. I had lots of stomach cramps and diarrhea. No fun. I was miserable, but thank goodness Evan stayed and took care of the kids while I rested. The rest of the day I felt better. We just kinda laid low. I thought maybe I ate something at the baby shower the night before that might have disagreed with me. That night we ran out to my mom's so that I could pack up my scrapbook stuff for my Friday night craft night. For supper we took my sister to Mineral and I had some appetizers and then salad bar. I felt fine. The next day (Friday) I had a big salad for lunch with Tuna and that night I decided to have something delicious. We were scrapbooking after all :)

That afternoon, the power went out. Marek and I were in the kitchen making a fresh fruit salad (he had just woke from his nap) and Ardyn was still sleeping. About an hour after making the salad, the storm blew through. Right before it hit, Marek and I ran outside to get a rug and a pee pad off the clothesline, and when we got outside I put him down on the sidewalk because I couldn't take stuff off the line AND hold him with one hand, and I was in a hurry because I could tell the rain would get here very soon. I no sooner got the stuff off the line (there was just two things) and the wind picked up (from NO wind to unbelievable in just a second) and I turned around to see the basketball hoop blowing over... and headed right for Marek, who somehow miraculously stepped out of the way just in time. it was so windy he was squinting at me and then it blew HIM over and I ran towards him and scooped him up and we ran inside as it got even worse and started downpouring!

After the storm blew through, I got ready to head to Princeton. There still wasn't power here when Evan got home, and when I got to Princeton, they had significant storm damage, with trees down everywhere. Half of Princeton was without power. I couldn't get to the church because there was a tree blocking the road, and I called to let the girls know that I had to drive out by Tiskilwa and come up the country roads to get there. They told me they didn't have power there but had food and were scrapping just the same.

After I got there we ordered Pizza Hut. I had the chicken alfredo pasta bake and it was delicious as usual... but it had been a LONG time since I had it. We scrapped till midnight and then I ended up talking to a friend till 1:30 in the parking lot. The kids and Evan had gone to Happy Joe's for supper since we had no power, and ended up staying at his parents because the power was still not on when the kids were ready for bed. I headed out there after a brief stop at home to grab some clothes and toothbrushes.

We went to sleep at 4am and there was still no power. at 6:30am I woke up and could NOT sleep anymore so I went downstairs. I didn't know why I couldn't sleep. In about two hours my stomach started hurting and the diarrhea started. It was not pleasant, but at about 11am I went up and woke up Evan and told him that I couldn't deal with the kids anymore and that I was sick and needed to lie down. At that point it just got progressively worse, with lots of abdominal pain. Evan brought Marek up to me and we napped together, and when Marek woke up I tried to go downstairs with him but when I would stand the pain was unbearable, so I went back up to sleep. I couldn't sleep and by the time 1:30 rolled around I was in agony. I told Evan that I was going to the hospital and we all got in the van and he took me and dropped me at the ER. By the time we got to the hospital, I was hyperventilating. I could not talk to Evan much on the way there, and while thinking about my pain level (putting natural childbirth at a 10) I was thinking this was a 7 for sure. I could NOT figure out what was going on. I was afraid it could be something like appendix or gall bladder, especially since both my mom and sister have had them both removed. The ER Doc was leaning towards UTI (WTF?!) and so they did bloodwork and urine sample. I spent most of the time (2.5 hours?) I was there asleep on the gurney. I was just so exhausted. They gave me a GI Cocktail (which worked on the nausea and numbed my stomach and esophogus, and actually stopped the pain entirely.) and then when both the UTI and the bloodwork were clear, they discharged me with instructions to rest and take Pepcid and Tylenol every 8 hours and see my Dr at the beginning of the week. My dad came to get me and dropped me at home, where I slept from 4pm until almost 8pm when Evan went to my mom's and got the kids back and brought them home to bed. I still hadn't eaten in 24 hours, and was a tiny bit hungry so I had a handful of wheatables crackers. I felt fine, but about two hours later the intense pain started again and I was so miserable and scared. I called Evan and he came home, but about the time he got here I was almost asleep and the pain was less. I had cold washcloths on my head, my neck, AND my stomach. It was terrible. When I finally fell asleep it was probably somewhere near midnight and I slept straight through till I heard Ardyn pitter patter into the bathroom this morning. Then I sent her out with Evan to the living room to watch cartoons and I went and got Marek, nursed him, and slept on and off till almost noon with him. Then I moved to the couch and lay there until about 2pm when we put the kids down for a nap and Evan and I both lay down and slept till almost 4pm. When I woke up I was feeling a TON better and STARVING because I hadn't eaten in two days, and I ate a PB sandwich (no jelly) and had half a banana.

Ardyn and I cleaned out the fridge and freezer because the power had been out for just over 24 hours and we lost everything upstairs. Then I cleaned the inside of the fridge and the kids and I took a shower together. When we were finishing up, my mom and dad came over to bring back my van and helped me get the kids dressed. Then since I was still feeling well I took them out to supper (where I watched them eat because I wasn't thinking that I was ready for a real meal) and then we went to Wal-Mart where we dropped $418 on two carts FULL of groceries and then brought everything home and unloaded it. I put all the cold stuff away and left the rest on the porch for Evan to deal with when he gets home. Then I put the kids to bed and made a chicken pot pie for myself. I took my medicine first and I am sitting here writing this because I wanted to be upright and digest a while before I went to sleep. Boyd came inside and is sleeping on the couch next to me. Poor Old Dog. :(

Just about 10 minutes ago Ardyn came to the door of her room to inform me that she was sorry, but she had taken her nighttime diaper off (she's not night time trained yet, but can go for a whole nap) and that she then peed all over her bed. AND down the side of the mattress and box spring. I was so angry and frustrated! GRR! Now she's sleeping on the spare crib mattress on the floor of her room. Oy. And now I am going to bed! Wish me luck that the chicken pot pie settles well, that I sleep well, and that this week is much better, more productive (you should see this pig stye we live in!) and that my stomach does not continue to do this!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Couch Bound

I really thought that today would be a good day to play catchup. That was before I woke up with a backache and a headache. That was before I realized how comfy the couch would be. LOL. Because it's overcast today, we all slept in really well. Marek woke up way to early and I ign
ored him and he went back to sleep. So we all got "up" about 11am. It's after noon now and the kids and I are just hanging out in the living room in our pajamas with Tom and Jerry Marathon on the big screen. I got a Tupperware Thatsa Bowl out of the kitchen and three boxes of unopened cereal and made us a cereal snack mix. The kids love dry cereal, and making amix has always been successful. I usually get two really healthy cereals, and then something that's a little sweet to mix in, like mini cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch, or cinnamon life. Today we have the new Cinnabon Cereal, Multi-Grain Cheerios, and Rice Chex. It is DELICIOUS. I am REALLY not feeling the productivity today. Although my ibuprofen is kicking in, this lazy feeling is GREAT! Especially with the cloudy skies. If it would rain, it would really top this day off. I have three loads of unfolded laundry staring at me from the loveseat. I suppose I will take care of that next... but I feel some sewing coming on this afternoon. I have the fleeces in the dryer right now ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jo-Ann and Rapping Hamsters...

Jo-Ann Fabrics TWO days in a row? I must be crazy, right?! Well, it just so happens that it's coupon commotion week, and I thought it would be SILLY to be right there in the same town again and not STOP and use a coupon. Actually, I ended up being able to use like SIX coupons, which was AWESOME. Ardyn and I had been looking at fleece with the intention of making little fall jackets for her and Marek. I have the pattern but I had it at HOME because when we went to Jo-Ann yesterday it was completely unexpected and on a whim.

So today because we KNEW we had to go pick up the door at Menard's, we went ahead and took it with. I'm going to use "The Little Hooded Jacket" Pattern by Favorite Little Things. We picked a girly jolly roger fleece for the outside of her jacket. It is black and white with gray striping and hot pink hearts. We picked a winter camouflage fleece for Marek's outer. I strategically did that because they both have the gray, which meant that I could get the inner sweatshirt fleece for each jacket all in one cut, which meant that I could use my coupon on it, because it was full priced at $12.99 a yard (YIKES!) Luckily little clothes take little fabric amounts! haha. I got a hot pink and white polka dot for the trim on Ardyn's and some Jolly Roger fabric for trim on Marek's. They each got a sport weight zipper in black, and I am excited to get started. HOWEVER the house is such a disaster right now that really I think tomorrow will be more of the same picking up :) It's making me feel disorganized. We've been running so much that I can't wait to just STAY here. Chances are we will be in our pajamas.

I am very happy that my Nikon lens is back from warranty work. I feel whole again. LOL.

I had to get a new hard drive (external) last week because my current one is full. I still haven't copied things over to the new one yet. My intention is to put the older one in a safe deposit box or something to keep all the photos somewhere else in case of fire. Thinking of Fire reminds me that I need to update my LifeDoc Binders, and in doing so, I should write another review of my newest binder, which I am WAY behind on. I've always wanted to keep them ready, so in the event of some natural disaster, I would have a copy of everything that we could need in the event of an emergency. I did great until just after Ardyn was born, and I don't think it was updated since. Oy.

Somedays I just think I would be better off packing things up or donating them so there was just less STUFF around here. I wish that I didn't depend so much on STUFF.

I am wondering... do you think I can embroider 5 onesies by hand by Thursday? Hmmm. Or better worded, WILL I embroider them? I got some plain colored ones as a baby shower gift and am thinking about embroidering them myself as part of the gift. Would that be silly? Sometimes I don't know if people would be like *What is this crap?* and so I want to make sure that would be at least "semi-appropriate."

OMG I freaking love this commercial! WATCH IT!

It could ONLY be better if it were the Beastie Boys. LOL. I ADORE it!

Okay, seriously now. Haha. I think I am just gonna let my fishville fish all die. I've got better shit to do.

I think I'd better watch the nanny and read over my jacket pattern and directions in case I get a chance to sew tomorrow ;)

Long and exciting week/end

Wow! What a busy week/end this has been! I feel like I am in a fog. Right now I am having a problem even remembering what I did last week. Think I had better go get the calendar and refresh my memory.

Tuesday night I had BUNCO and had a great time at Elizabeth A's house. Tuesday morning was MOPS in the park and we actually made it ;) I was up early that day but we were still 20 minutes late because once the kids got up and became uncooperative, it got all hectic, and I had some errands that I really needed to run, so I went ahead and did a few before the park.

Wednesday we didn't do anything, but Wednesday night was our MOPS Swim party. We had reserved the public pool after hours, and it was a great time. Evan went with and after the swimming discovered that he had kept my van keys in his pocket the whole time (in the pool) and amazingly they still work. The van has the type where the key head is also the electronic controls for the sliding doors, locks, hatch, etc. We took the kids for ice cream and then headed home to put them to bed.

Thursday started out well, and I got a ton of stuff done in the morning. We were scheduled for cleaning people that afternoon, but everything started falling to pieces when Marek started getting feverish and wanted to be held, and then the furnace continued (and increased) this terrible squealing that had started early that morning. I ended up stopping my "picking up" progress and cuddling Marek, and calling our furnace guy. That afternoon we dropped off Milk and Chex mix to Courtney and I got to hold Sheperd for the first time. He was so sweet ;) Then I took Ardyn out to mom's for an overnight, and Marek and I stayed till about 12:30am while I worked on her computer and we ate supper together.

Friday morning I was awake and Marek and I got ready to go. I had to go out and get Ardyn, and drop some vaseline in a tube to Courtney and then we had to be home before 1pm because Monica was going to babysit for the kids while I went to Princeton and did some painting at Annie's Little Pots. I also ran errands, including dropping off library books that I had forgotten to take back on Wednesday (oops) and dropping cardboard at the recycling center. Then I went through Hattie's Antiques for a while, which was the first time I was able to even be IN the store since having kids. It was nice. I grabbed a $1 coke and headed towards Sterling to meet the girls from the Walnut Scrapbooking group for a Girl's Night Out at the new Buffalo Wildwings they built up by Sauk Valley Cinemas. I decided to drive myself because I was an hour ahead of schedule and also so I could run some errands while I was "kid-free." I got brake pads and rotors to do the back brakes (I just got the front ones done a month or so ago) and then ran through the Dollar Tree and got lots of stuff that you just can't live without. LOL. Actually I got all the solid colored tablecloths, plates, napkins, and fork/spoons for Ardyn's 3rd Birthday party. (and THAT is a whole different post! someone remind me!!!!!) Then we met at BWW and it was so packed it was INSANE. The line was wrapped around the side of the building outside. It was really good, and we got right in because we had called in advance and Amber and Kendra were already there at our table. It was so nice to talk to the girls! Of course it was funny because so much of our conversation turns to our kids ;) It's ironic that when you get away from them all you do is talk about them! Afterwards we snuck through Bergner's briefly because they had yellow dot sales. I was going to look for jeans for Ardyn but then realized that I can do that anytime, but since I was kid free it would be WISER to try on clothes for myself. I got a new pair of jeans that were 25% off and then I had another 15% off coupon that Michelle gave me, and I got two shirts that were half price- one Columbia t-shirt and one Ruff Hewn "dressier" shirt. I headed home through Manlius and got this SUPER cool picture of the moon from the High School Parking Lot:

Saturday morning I was up BRIGHT and early. For some reason. I think it was because I was excited about the day. I got up and got the kids ready and took Marek out to moms for the day. Then by 10am we were on the road! Ardyn and I were headed to Antiquity Oaks. It's a homestead about 1.5 hours from us, which raises goats, chickens, turkeys, geese, llamas, pigs, and cattle. They make their own cheese and Goat's Milk Soap, and Deborah's daughter also spins the wool from their sheep. I believe they also do llama wool? They were having their first field day and I wanted to take Ardyn. Not only because I wanted to visit, but because I knew Ardyn would love to see the animals. And of course she did. Deborah and her husband did a homemade cheese demonstration, and I loved watching them make Mozzarella. I also got to stir the milk while it separated into curds and whey and it was really cool to see. I was really surprised how simple it was to make Mozzarella! I asked lots of questions! Ardyn loved the goats most of all, and Eleanore was a bottle fed goat that was running loose around the yard and Ardyn took to her right away, of course.

It was SO hot (96 degrees without the heat index) and we didn't stay but 2.5 hours... but it was so nice.

Deborah and her husband are such great teachers! On the way to their house we went down through Henry and Sparland, then to Lacon and on through Wenona.

Just south of Henry we stopped to see a HUGE Field of sunflowers. Ardyn said "mommy, why are those flowers sad?" referring to their nodded heads.... it was soooo cute.
We stopped in Lacon for a potty break and a photo op in front of the tank at the courthouse.
Then just outside Wenona there was a crop duster spraying the corn, so we stopped and watched him for a while.

When we left the farm, we didn't even hit the hard road and Ardyn said "Mommy, can we go get Marek now?" LOL. Toooo cute. But we had to head north through Streator, and then through Ottawa to LaSalle, and I wanted to stop at Joann Fabrics because I am out of black thread. AND I have been looking for some organza or eyelet fabric to use for Ardyn's birthday dress. We ended up being in there for like TWO HOURS and I felt terrible because Marek was at moms. But wow. Clearance stuff was great. They had TONS of Fabulous Findings for 50 cents a pack (they are regularly $2.29 or more)
I also got this corduroy (owls and polka dots) and some other little calico prints that I plan to use for Dortje trousers for Ardyn. The calico was tooooo expensive in my opinion, so I only got a yard of one, and a half yard of another. I hate expensive fabric... because I love it so much! LOL.

This fabric is for my next skirt for myself. The two base fabrics were clearance rack fabrics that were only $2.50 a yard. The top 5 are from a Fat Quarter Bundle.
The Halloween Fabric was in the 99 cent fat quarter bin, and I will make something for Ardyn. Likely a tiered skirt I believe.
And here is the assortment of Ardyn's fabric for her Birthday Dress.

I found this GIANT red button on 50% off in the clearance aisle. It is just adorable and it makes me smile. There were giant scissors too but I didn't want to spend that much. They might get cheaper... who knows. I got the button because it makes me smile and matches my front porch... and now it hangs right above my sewing table.

We found this embroidered organza sheer fabric and this silky soft Strawberry shortcake fabric on the clearance racks too. The strawberry shortcake fabric was $2.50 a yard, and that's phenomenal for licensed fabric. I am not sure if it will be Pajamas or a dress with the Organza as an overlay... but I am sure to think of SOMETHING!
On the other hand, my house is a WRECK. I mean, because I have been away from it for days, the kids have absolutely trashed it. There are things EVERYWHERE. We can't find two matching shoes that belong to anyone. Everything is scattered and it's pretty scary. I wanted to just stay HOME today and do nothing followed by some picking up, but Evan thinks it would be fun to go out to eat and run to Menard's as a family to pick up the new back door that we ordered and exchange the ceiling fan that was cracked. That is a good idea, and that's what we should do, and will do, but I just wish there were more days to do nothing ;) Really what I need is to have my kids go visit someone for two days straight (WHOLE days) and have my husband gone and myself home alone in this quiet house to focus. I need to get picked up and reorganize. I have my antique makeup table that has been collecting crap in the corner of our room for MONTHS that was supposed to go to the attic. I desperately need to switch the kids' toys out with those that are in the attic. I need to clean off my bookshelf and my nightstand next to the bed, and the top of my dresser. I have a laundry basket of clothes that has been in our room for MONTHS that needs sorted through. The bottom of it is things to pack up for "winter" and the other is stuff needs to get put away.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today we have done nothing. By nothing I mean we are still in our pajamas and it's almost 4pm. WHERE did this day go?! It's so hot outside that we planned to stay inside. Ardyn has been watching cartoon marathons and I have been studiously working on the blog. Since I accidentally wiped the ENTIRE Custom template (which I paid for years ago and am not about to pay for again) I had moved to a generic template temporarily.

I don't have all the bugs worked out, or everything customized perfectly yet, but it's certainly looking much better. For those of you who read via Facebook, my blog address is - and that's where it's all pretty looking :)

I was pleasantly surprised when Nancy Sanden stopped by this afternoon. Poor Nancy was probably scared away by me in my pajamas and Ardyn naked except for Monkey panties.... but she brought me some of those clear zippered bags that I covet so much! I am so excited!

I should be cleaning the kitchen, baking, washing and folding laundry, or picking up this MESS! Yikes. I am SO far behind. Supposed to go swimming today. Supposed to have cleaning here tomorrow, and TOTALLY unprepared.

Remind me why I am blogging and not being productive right now? Oy.

I have such a long to-do list it makes me want to scream. But we did nothing anyway. But I think that's about over! I can already see the look on Evan's face when he comes home and we did NOTHING today. Oops.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Review: Babyology Wool Soakers and Longies

I've had my fair share of wool covers. many of them hand knit by WAHM's and some made by shop owners of reputable hyenacarts. I've also had recycled wool, including Woolybottoms, and several other similar brands or custom made footies and longies.

My all-time wool favorite has been Babyology. I love the way they fit, the way they WORK, the way they wash and lanolize... It's just been a win-win situation for me. I started using them when Marek was a newborn.
Marek- modeling Babyology Longies
I stocked up on them for nighttime, because I planned on using fitteds overnight. Since I knew that initially I would be changing him each time I nursesd him throughout the night, I knew that I would get to experience and practice with which fitteds and wool would work overnight and how much absorbency I would need. I was very very pleased with the softness of their wool and the protection it offered. It was beyond cute and snuggly, and comfortable.
Marek- modeling Babyology LongiesAlign Center
When Marek hit about 1 year old, I decided that I really missed that wool, and that I needed something overnight worthy for him, and that I could use over our Goodmamas in summer when it was too hot for PUL.

Right away I knew that I needed some Babyology Soakers and I bought two pair for him. I love them so much that I am thinking I might buy a pair for my toddler, who still diapers overnight. The waistband can be folded for maximum comfort, and the leg openings offer full protection without being constricting in any way. Each morning I simply turn them inside out and air dry them on a peg in his room, ready to be used the next night. They are rarely even very damp with a goodmama and a goodfront booster overnight. I can use spray lanolin in the wetzone if I need to between lanolizings and washings, but really they are just very carefree, which is saying something for wool.

Review: Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go Diapering System

PLEASE NOTE: The Tuck and Go Pads that I received (3 of them) are NOT gathered at the legs like those that I now see on the Monkey Doodlez Website. I have contacted them to ask why, as perhaps they have changed their design a bit and that might change my review entirely, especially since the main issue that I saw was involving the leg area of the diaper. Stay Tuned and I will update accordingly!

Today I am going to write a review of the Monkey Doodlez Tuck and Go Diapering system. I was very excited to try this diapering system, because I love love love love their pail liner... It's the one thing that I recommend every cloth diapering mamma have. It's double sided PUL, so the plastic-y side of the PUL is contained inside and this prevents icky sweating inside your pail and means that the pail is always dry and clean. It's also wonderfully sturdy. I own two, and one of them I have had for 3 years and it's still going strong. I adore them! Especially the elastic top that just slips over the rim of any inexpensive garbage pail and makes a quick and secure liner.

First, let me apoligize for the length of this review... but I feel like I have so much to say about this product!

Okay, I digress. Anyway you get that I was excited to try these diapers! In the last 1-2 years, cloth diapering has accelerated even more than it had when I started about 3 years ago. We are now seeing many "Hybrid" diapering systems like the Bum Genius Flip, the Booroi system, Gdiapers, Best Bottoms, GroBaby, and GroVia. This is similar to these systems, allowing you to lay an insert inside a PUL Cover, and simply tuck it inside and go. But what is surprising (to me at least) about the Tuck and Go System, is the amazing LUXURY inside. This is not just some PUL Cover. The insides are lined with SUPER soft Microfleece (I actually thought it was OBV at first) that prevents any PUL from touching baby's skin. The pads are amazing, very thin and trim but incredibly absorbent, and made from Bamboo and Organic Cotton. They are super soft inside, like my adored Goodmama fitteds.

First I'd like to say that I am a fitted girl. I prefer Goodmama fitteds and a variety of covers (wool, fleece, PUL, etc) and I do use prefolds and covers also, with snappis. In coming to the conclusion that Goodmamas are my favorite, I have used LOTS of different diapers. I started with pockets. Particularly things like Fuzzi Bunz, Snap-ez, Bum Genius, etc. They were great... except for extracting poopy inserts from the pockets... and when poop would get INSIDE the pockets (don't ask, it can happen!) and the stuffing! OY all the stuffing. it got so tedious that I dropped pockets altogether.

Then we started exploring fitteds and prefolds. I tried many types, but the bottom line with all these systems was that they had to be replaced as the baby moved up a size, and it became expensive. And just because I got an awesome fit in a small Snap-ez and a small Fuzzi Bunz, did NOT mean that the same brand fit right when she moved up to medium and got chunkier thighs. I felt like I was on an endless search for something that was for us.

Then I tried AIO's, specifically to use something simple and easy for on-the-go, and for ease at Daycare. We used Thirsties AIO Pockets for a while, and loved them until they started to leak profusely and the company wouldn't honor the warranty or even replace them at a discount. They later released V2 to fix the leaking problem.

The day I tried a goodmama, I was purely doing it for entertainment. The stalking level was at it's peak, and the day that I first went to their store, just to check it out, I stumbled upon an unannounced stocking and bought just one (one was the limit in those days!) and told myself I might as well see what all the fuss was about. From the day that diaper arrived, I gradually moved my entire stash to goodmamas and prefolds, with the exception of some BGOS 3.0's that we use overnight. I loved the true one size, just like the BGOS system, and it saved me so much time and money, and was excellent when I had two in diapers, because one diaper fit both kids!

Everyone is looking for something different in a diapering system. That is why no system is perfect for everyone. If you are looking for ease of use, especially if you are new to cloth, are on the go or traveling more than you are home, or have a diapered child in daycare.... a hybrid system might be for you. I have yet to see a hybrid insert as awesome as the Tuck-and-go. The inside of the PUL cover has positives and negatives. Of course it's excellent that the PUL doesn't touch the baby's skin. BUT as soon as I saw the microfleece lined legs, I thought "luxury.... but is that PRACTICAL?" In my mind, I could see the leg lining getting soiled or wet and causing the cover to need to be switched out more frequently than any wool, fleece, or PUL cover. But remember this is coming from my fitted point of view. :)

The first time I used the system, I was going to my parents for the afternoon/evening. I waited until my guy (20 pounds and 15 months old) had done his "morning poop." This boosted my confidence that the cover would make it a longer time frame. With his usual regime of fitteds and covers, we never ever EVER have a diaper leak out the legs or up the back. Fitteds are so absorbent and the legs and back are elasticized, so everything is always contained. I am so confident in that statement that unless I am using prefolds, I NEVER take a spare cover with me when I leave the house. The micro fleece leg-lining of the Tuck and Go system had me worried.

I had him in the Tuck and Go and had two inserts packed, and then I took fitteds and a cover for backup, just in case. Sure enough, when we got to my parents, he pooped AGAIN (unusual for my once a day pooper!) and it was ALL over the leg lining and even up the back of the cover. It did NOT leak. Not even close, but the cover was most definitely not reusable. I moved to fitteds. I was disappointed. I was really excited to try out the Tuck and Go. I thought that it was really probably just that Murphy's Law thing, and that I would just try try again.

The next attempt was an overnight attempt. And it went amazingly well. The system is SO trim, that I was even able to double stuff without barely noticing a difference. It was still trimmer than a BGOS... but, could it hold? My guy sleeps 12-13 hours each night, and peeeeees. He does not poop overnight, and everything went as planned. I assumed that when I took the Tuck and Go off the next morning, all the microfleece lining in the cover would be soaked, along with the inserts. I was WRONG. I was absolutely shocked to find that although the inserts were wet, the leg lining and other inner linings of the cover were not even damp. I was amazed. The cover could easily have been reused after a brief airing out. These would make for excellent overnight diapers. If I didn't have a lifetime supply of BGOS I would certainly consider these as my nighttime solution.

My third and fourth attempts during the day ended in the exact same way. The first time I put the Tuck and Go on him, he pooped. And even when the poop was solid, it still soiled the leg linings of the cover and I was never able to reuse it. If you have a once a day pooper, this system would be doable, because you would likely only go through two covers a day. If you have a EBF baby, or a newborn, or even someone who poops twice or more a day, I would not recommend this system simply (and ONLY) because of the legs lined in microfleece- the cover would be soiled and not reusable.

The advantage to having unlined leg openings is that if there was a poo, you would be able to wipe the cover out with a baby wipe and reuse it. With these microfleece lined legs, that just isn't possible. You and only you can make the determination of you think this is efficient for your needs- and does the comfort of the leg linings really have enough advantages over a non-lined leg... to justify the cost and hassle of needing that many more covers.

The quality of this system is, without question, outstanding. They are well-made and the velcro is amazing. It's very tough and feels almost more like a soft plastic than the despicable velcro on Bum Genius. It's even superior to Thirsties Velcro. I love that instead of having foldback laundry tabs inside the back of the diaper, the velcro folds right onto itself on the wings, for laundry day. I love that the cover has multiple rises, because a baby can be in a medium diaper for a LOOOOONG time. I have to say, however, that at 20 pounds by guy did not give me the option to try the smaller rise. The covers are a tad bit more pricey than regular PUL covers, but not astronomical by any means. The covers are $15 each, comparing to about $11-12 for your average PUL cover. The inserts are $30 for three.

If you are a person who is using pockets, this system would be a nice change. It would drastically cut down your load in the diaper bag, because instead of taking stuffed pockets with, you would just have to take flat inserts and one spare cover. With this system you just don't dare NOT take a spare cover. This was the thing that was the breaking point for me. The leg linings are fabulous, but they are also the one drawback in my mind. This would work very simlar in my mind to having prefolds and cover in your diaper bag, but you wouldn't have to know how to fold the prefold and snappi or pin it :) The ease of washing is much like that of prefolds and covers, and I love the fact that there is no "stuffing" or snapping of inserts on laundry day.

Another thing that I noticed. When I did attempt to salvage the cover this morning when he pooped.... I would normally (with a fitted) just unsnap the diaper, and then lift his legs while I wiped. Then I would remove the fitted and fold it up, setting it on top of the diaper pail (to dump in the potty later) while I rested his bum on the PUL of the cover (on the changing table.) Then I would reach for a new fitted with one hand, keeping my other hand on him, and put the new diaper under his bum, inside the cover, and then put both the fitted and the cover back on him. Basically the entire diaper change, I never have to take a hand off the baby. Not once. Everything I do in the change is with one hand.

When it came time to try to get the poopy insert out of the Tuck and Go, I was unable to get the insert out of the diaper with one hand. I may have gotten the insert out (one-handed) had I shaken it over the diaper pail, but because it had a solid stool in it, I wanted to get the insert out and set it aside so that I could dump the poo in the potty, and then put the soiled insert into the pail. But I could not get the insert out one handed to do that. Shaking it over the pail does my no good if I want the poop in the potty. I found this frustrating because I have a mover and shaker and he would be flipped over and off that changing table in an instant if I took my hand off him.

And then there was the issue of needing two hands to stuff the next insert into the cover. This was a huge learning curve for me, and I am used to either grabbing a new fitted or a fully prepped pocket diaper, and just putting it on. I am not used to having to tuck and prepare the diaper during the change, and this was not possible to do while keeping one hand on the baby. This made me think that it would be better to have a pre-tucked insert and cover ready before each diaper change, so instead of using one cover and trying to get the most use out of it each day, you just prepare to have at least two covers per day, and always keep the "spare" cover tucked and ready for the next diaper change. This system would work really well, unless one of those covers got soiled, then it would be back to tucking each time that you did a diaper change - Unless you had a THIRD cover on hand, but now you are using three covers a day... which to me is excessive.

I am really on the fence as to whether I will purchase more inserts to use with the Tuck and Go system that I have tried. I have one cover and three inserts. To make this be an efficient system for me, I would need at least one more cover (I would likely only use the system when we are on the go) and at least 4 more inserts. But because they come in packs of three inserts, I would likely have to buy 2 packs. I think it would be nice if they had the option of purchasing the inserts separately, or in the multi-packs, perhaps at a discount.

I feel badly because I feel like I have listed a lot of negatives in this review. I don't want to give the impression that this is a "bad" system. Quite the contrary. However, it is not for everyone. I would urge you to strongly consider how often you would use this system, and buy only what you think you may need to start with. Then you can easily add to your stash if you think it's the one for you.

I am considering keeping some of these on hand, just for the fact that they are nice and trim. But at the same time, Because I have been doing this for a while now, I am confident and comfortable with the fitteds and covers that I have, and also with using prefolds and covers as a backup. If I were a pocket user and didn't use fitteds and covers, I think this would be an EXCELLENT change. If I were new to cloth, I would like to try this system, but would be concerned that they would feel overwhelmed when it came time to change baby and tuck the insert at the same time.

I urge you to try them out yourself and see what you think! Please share your experiences with me! I want to know how they worked for you!

I've added some horrible quality pics of Marek in the Tuck and Go. Sorry they are from my iPhone and not the Nikon D3000, but the short lens from the Nikon is in the shop for warranty work right now. But hopefully you'll get an idea of the fit :)

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Happy Diapering!
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