Category Archives: cloth diapers

Now on Tuesdays! Ask The Caffeinated Catholic Mama

I feel the Holy Spirit’s been after me for a while to do this so I am going to finally stop being stubborn and say “yes.” Starting tomorrow and every Tuesday to follow, I will use my blog space to answer your questions to the Caffeinated Catholic Mama.

So if you have questions about Catholicism, conversion, RCIA, Natural Family Planning, Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, Frugal Living, Knitting, Crochet, Biology, Forensic Science, Marriage, Parenting, Gentle Discipline, etc., etc., please send me an email at:

CaffeinatedCatholicMama (at) gmail (dot) com

In your email, please include your first name and let me know if you want your name withheld when I answer your question on the blog.

I will do my best to answer your questions and if I cannot, I will refer to a Catholic’s BFFs for the answer: The Bible, The Catechism and The Priest. (that’s assuming your question is about Catholicism.) Please try to make your questions concrete as I am not so good at the existential questions… after all, my education is in the Natural Sciences!

I have no prizes to offer for your questions other than the knowledge that you might be helping others with their questions!

Looking forward to answering your queries!

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Pax Christi!

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Filed under breastfeeding, Catholic, cloth diapers, frugal, life, marriage, mothering, Tuesday

Things I love Thursday: Etsy.com

If you haven’t discovered Etsy.com yet, now’s the time! Etsy is a place to buy and sell all things homemade, handmade and vintage. It’s a great way to support artists, work-at-home parents and people who just like to create things!

I find myself heading to Etsy when looking for gifts, rather than other commercial sites because I like the thought that I am getting something one of a kind.

In the photo below, you can see some of the things that I have found on Etsy in the last year or so:

1. An applique and embroidered birthday shirt for The Bear (she turns 3 this Sunday) from Leah at SewCreativeSTL

2. Reusable Sandwich Bags, Diaper Covers and Baby Hanks from Tiffanie at Diaper Koozie

3. Breastfeeding Bracelet from Shannon at Organic Mama’s

4. Hand-dyed wool brown scapular from Jessamyn at Home Spun Ireland

5. Black Chapel Veil from Rhonda at Lady in Blue Shop

6. “Stellaberry” Cloche from You-Know-Who at The Bear and Dragonfly Hats

Photobucket

Next time you are looking for a gift or something for yourself, head over to Etsy! I’m telling you, you will not be disappointed!

Pax Christi!
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Filed under Art, breastfeeding, Catholic, cloth diapers, eco-friendly, frugal, Thursday

What makes a feminist?

Boy, oh, boy… I am going to miss our paper subscription to the NYT ( but thank goodness I can still find it online!)

Going through this week’s Sunday Styles, there is an article about a French Author, Elisabeth Badinter, and her thesis that the current ‘green’ movement and the ensuing ‘Mommy Wars’ is really an underhanded way to erase the progress of feminism. Her basic thought is that by choosing breastfeeding, cloth diapering, forgoing the epidural, women are being steered back into the home and away from the workplace.

From the article:

In “Le Conflit: la femme et la mère” (“Conflict: The Woman and the Mother”), she contends that the politics of the last 40 years have produced three trends that have affected the concept of motherhood, and, consequently, women’s independence. First is what she sums up as “ecology” and the desire to return to simpler times; second, a behavioral science based on ethology, the study of animal behavior; and last, an “essentialist” feminism, which praises breast-feeding and the experience of natural childbirth, while disparaging drugs and artificial hormones, like epidurals and birth control pills.

All three trends, Ms. Badinter writes, “boast about bringing happiness and wisdom to women, mothers, family, society and all of humankind.” But they also create enormous guilt in a woman who can’t live up to a false ideal. “The specter of the bad mother imposes itself on her even more cruelly insofar as she has unconsciously internalized the ideal of the good mother,” she writes.

(emphasis mine)
If you are on the internet at all, you can recognize the bolded section as what’s more commonly called, the “Mommy Wars.” It seems as if we mommies will war about anything and everything: cloth v. disposable, breast v. bottle, homeschool v. school, circ v. intact and now feminist v. non-feminist? (To me that’s kind of a misnomer, all women at heart are feminists)

Stay with me here. Feminists fought and are still fighting for the rights of women TO MAKE CHOICES. That’s all. Feminists are not telling women, “OK you HAVE to go out and work and shatter the glass ceiling AND raise kids and have an immaculate home.” They are telling us, “You have the choice to do what is best for you and your family, if you choose to have one.” Kind of like how veterans fought and are fighting for our freedom from tyranny, femisists fight for our freedom of lack of choice. (And before you ask, The Caffeinated Catholic Mama is pro-choice: With those choices being life-based: Raise your baby or place your baby up for adoption please! But I digress.)

Personally, I see Ms. Badinter’s thesis as furthering the victimization of women. Instead of sticking to her feminist roots, she is blaming society on making life harder on women. Does cloth diapering take a bit more time and effort? Yup, but guess what? My husband knows how to run the washer as well as I can. Does eating homecooked foods take more time than running through the drive thru? Yup, but thank goodness for my Crock Pot and Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker. Does my husband wish I met him at the door with a dress and pearls on, with a Manhattan and newspaper in hand, ready to speak to him in soft tones while the children play quietly in another room? Probably, but we can all dare to dream. I chose natural birth because I am a control freak and we practice Natural Family Planning for a bunch of reasons, not limited to the fact that I haven’t had a period in 18 months! Yay, ecological breastfeeding! (Yay breastfeeding in general!) I guess what gets me is why we as women allow ourselves to be constantly made victims of this and that. There are times you have to stand up and say, “I chose this life and I have to take the good with the bad!” (Cue “The Facts of Life” theme…) And as an aside, a more equal division on labor helps a ton!

While cruising FaceBook yesterday, I saw how FuzziBuns (FB), a cloth diapering company, was coming under fire for sponsoring “The Feminist Breeder” (TFB) for BlogHer 2010. The comments that followed divided into two groups: women who didn’t 100% agree with TFB’s ideals and therefore were going to no longer buy FB and those who were wondering what the fuss was all about. The most often quoted bit of TFB’s blog that drew the most ire was about The Duggar family, how she doubts Michelle Duggar is raising little feminists:

Q: Where did that crazy name come from?

A: I hard time finding like-minded feminists once I became a mother, and I started to feel like feminism and motherhood may be mutually exclusive. I chose the moniker The Feminist Breeder to prove that even those of us who reproduce can still be concerned feminists.
Q: But wait – I thought feminism meant staying childfree?

A: Don’t be stupid. Where do you think the future feminists will come from if the feminists aren’t breeding them? Do you think Michelle Duggar is reproducing feminists for us? Come on.

If you follow TFB’s blog, you know that she uses humor and is very tongue-in-cheek about things (she also uses some “colorful” language, that I look past!) I can see how that comment might ruffle the feathers of some women, but it’s also TFB’s opinion and she’s entitled to it. I like the Duggar family but I have a hard time seeing Michelle and Jim Bob raising little feminists as well but you never know.

In our house, we make it clear that men and women can do any job they want (except for the Priesthood and, yes, I believe in that as well, but that’s for a later post) and we make it a point to show our daughters that. The Bear goes with Daddy to work and sees that men and women are at the office. Our pediatrician is a woman whereas our family doctor and my OB/GYN are men. We point out men and women doing the same jobs whenever we can.

But feminism is not just about work. It’s about a state of mind. Days when I am having a challenging time with the children are days that I constantly remind myself that this is the life that I chose and to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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What are your thoughts? Is every woman a feminist at heart? Are we who choose the role of Stay Home mother hurting the vision of female independence? Tell me your thoughts!

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Filed under breastfeeding, Catholic, cloth diapers, eco-friendly, feminism, history, life, mothering

Things I love Thursday: Diaper Koozie EXTENDED!!

Since I am now cloth diapering two children, I found that I was in need of some new diaper covers. I like to support Work At Home Mothers as much as possible so I headed over to Etsy to see what I could find. I found the cutest covers at Diaper Koozie.

Tiffanie at Diaper Koozie uses print fabrics backed with PUL to make a soft, flexible yet very functional diaper cover. With my latest purchase from her, I discovered that she is making her diaper covers multi-sized, which is great if you have multiple children in cloth or if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

In addition to the diaper covers, she also makes eco-friendly, reusable snack packs/ sandwich bags and “Baby Hanks”… think handkerchiefs for baby. The Baby Hanks are great because they are super cute, very soft, well made and you can use them as on the go wipes for sticky hands, faces or at home as diaper wipes, eliminating the need for boxes and boxes of disposable wipes. The snack packs and sandwich bags are lined with PUL and easily wipe clean on the inside. They close with a simple hook and loop closure so there are no worries of bunny crackers accidentally dumping out all over your bag. Get a few of these and you greatly decrease the number of sandwich bags your family goes through!

Tiffanie ships quickly and her work is supurb! I am glad to be a Diaper Koozie customer and I’d like you to have a chance to enjoy her products as well! Time for my FIRST giveaway!

For a chance to win a eco-friendly snack pack in a cute clocks print, please leave me a comment with your favorite healthy on-the-go snack and/or a cloth diaper washing secret AND what Diaper Koozie item you’d love to use. Be sure to head over to Diaper Koozie to check out all of her items and place an order if you are so inclined! I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed! I will select a winner by random lottery on Friday June 18 and notify the winner by email.

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Filed under cloth diapers, eco-friendly, Giveaway, mothering, Thursday

Things I love Thursday: Better Life

I didn’t want to get onto the whole “I love this product” bandwagon, but I just have to in this case. The husband and I made the decision to introduce chores to our almost three year old and since she loves playing in water, we thought that washing the kitchen floor would be a good match. In addition, The Dragonfly is beginning to creep along and the last thing that we want is for little crawling hands to be covered in chemicals. That meant I had to seek out a kid friendly, safe floor cleaner. Thank goodness I live in St. Louis, the home of “Better Life!”

About six months ago, I was at Costco and there was this demonstration for a new cleaning product. With having two little kids in the house, I am always cleaning something up, but as most little kids… there is no distinguishing “floor food” from “table food.” I chatted a bit with Tim (who I found out later was one of the innovators) and walked out of Costco with three new cleaners and a whole new point of view.

Better Life is the brainchild of two St. Louis dads, one a chemist, the other an idealist, who wanted to make household cleaners that were safe for families. Out of that meeting of the minds we get the Better Life line. Made of all natural ingredients (aside from a smidge (10 parts per million) of a synthetic preservative), you could essentially eat these cleaning products, if you were so inclined.

I use the all-purpose cleaner (What-ever!) on all of my household surfaces and I discovered today that it’s a great cloth diaper pre-treater. The floor cleaner (Simply Floored) is strong but gentle. It managed to get the dirt, grime and weird, sticky stuff off my floor with minimal effort. The floor cleaner is ready to go, no bucket needed, just squirt on the floor, clean and go. I use the liquid scrubber (Even the Kitchen Sink) on my kitchen sink and trash can every night after I’ve finished the dishes.

Not only are these products environmentally friendly and family safe but they are also a local company which is an important factor for me. So if you are so inclined, check them out… you can’t go wrong!

Better Life Cleaning Products

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