Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The search begins...your advice wanted.

If you want to make a group of people laugh tell them you have 5 month old twins and you line dry your laundry. If you want to make a group of people go completely silent with disbelief, tell them you have 5 month old twins and don't have a dishwasher

So I'll admit, the dishwasher thing isn't by choice...but the line drying is. I hate hate hate our energy sucking dryer but luckily I live in Sunny Southern just makes sense to line dry. 10 mins to hang, 2 hours in the sun, and presto...dry clothes. The bonus: I don't have to rush to get them as soon as they are dry so they don't wrinkle. Heck, I can leave them on the drying rack all day! And the bonus bonus is feeling smug that I didn't have to use any electricity.

It seems so simple to me and yet people think I'm crazy for line drying. You would not believe how many people think I will stop line drying now that we have twins.

Everyone has certain ideas about how they want to live. Mine include trying to be as Green as possible; trying to make as little waste as possible. I believe in tote bags versus plastic or paper grocery bags. I believe in walking more than driving...if you have to drive, make it the smallest car possible. I believe in cloth diapers and glass bottles. I believe in composting, recycling, freecycling, and craig's list. I believe in using my own refillable water bottle. I believe in Etsy and other made-by-hand websites. I believe in opening windows rather than using AC. I believe in eating what is for sale at my weekly farmers market. I believe in drought-resistant, California native plants instead of water sucking unnatural green lawns.

Sadly, I don't get to live all these beliefs every day. We rent so the garden is out of my control (though I am strict with the sprinkler one can accuse us of ignoring the water restrictions.) We live in LA so we have to drive more than I'd like...but we do walk much more than the average Angeleno (the mileage on our last car was so low that when we went to trade it in the dealer accused us of turning the odometer back). And as you all know... my dreams of driving like a European in a tiny car were dashed when faced with the realities of two rear facing car seats. I'm Green but I'm also realistic. I suppose, on the scale of Green living, I'm still a pale, pale lime. But I'm trying. And I don't think having twins means I have to stop trying.

So my next big step in practicing what I preach... cloth diapers. Or a biodegradable diaper. Or last resort, a disposable diaper made of post-consumer recycled content (free range wood pulp anyone?). Surely there must be a diaper out there that can contain my children's poop and yet doesn't have a half life longer than uranium.

And so the research begins. I'm looking into these and these and these. And I have set the goal of cutting down our diaper-footprint by the time the twins are 8 months old. That gives me 3 months to figure it out and 3 months for them to finish getting over any little Ethiopian souvenirs they might have growing in their poop.

Here's where I actively seek your advice. All those who have diapered before me--singleton or twin poo--what did you do for diapers?
Seriously, have you ever seen cuter bums then these? Not to mention the quality of head control and tummy time... but I digress. Diapers people...please help me find a diaper that works AND doesn't exist longer than my kids!



  1. Oh, I'm too distracted by the laundry and Popi's little PJ's hanging on the second row... I'm all for the cloth, as you know. What I'm discovering at the moment, however, is that sometimes other things (daycare regulations, diaper rash medications) require paper diapers. It's frustrating! We have more bumgenius than we need, so I'd be happy to send you a few to try out, btw.

  2. Hello! Fellow Gladney Ethiopia mom here - we used BumGenius one size diapers with our daughter (disposable with our older son) - cloth rocked, and had I to do it over again I would have gotten diapers that had snaps instead of velcro (which ended up eventually fraying and becoming a pain) and I would have been a tad more vigilant about washing them every 3 days weather I had a full load or not -I think waiting created really smelly diapers I couldn't get the smell out of.
    Good luck, go you!

  3. Solomon is 5 months old... well, more like 5.5 months old. How did I miss our children being the same age??

    Very cute buns, by the way, very cute buns....

  4. I loved my fuzzibunz for overnight with an added hemp doubler. I used hemp diapers with wool covers during the day. Look into micro fleece liners to help with the poo disposal/staining.

    You reminded me that I have 3 large totes of cloth diapers in the closet that I need to re-home. I keep putting it off!

  5. I have heard awesome things about g diapers, and am going to be trying them when we get our little single poo-er home. But i am not a parent yet, so maybe best to defer to someone else.

  6. Hello Kat,
    I don't have much advice I too try to be green but had so much trouble with cloth that I gave up and did the terrible kind. There I said it... and yes I am ashamed. I hope someone else has some good tips for you.
    Your babes bums sure are cute :)

  7. I have g diapers but i am waiting for our "souvenir" to go away too. get in touch with laura byars of
    shes the cloth diaper guru....

  8. Since I adopted a 9 yr old I got nothing when it comes to diapers (thankfully), but I will comment on the dishwasher.

    Studies have shown (I don't know which ones but I embrace the mere suggestion thereof, whether it's true or not) that washing dishes in a dishwasher is actually more energy efficient than doing it by hand.

  9. Hi there, I don't know if I've commented here before, but I have visited your blog! Your babes are adorable! We're waiting for a girly girl from Ethiopia, with Gladney as well.

    Anyhow, I used both FuzziBunz and BumGenius. Love the both! Both contained our poos well, and never ever leaked. I used FB for the first year of cloth diapering, and I replaced with BumGenius then, because of the fact they are adjustable in size. I could use one set of diapers the whole way through. FuzziBuns, are sized, S, M, L. They are the same price (FB and BG) but you only buy one set of BumG. I always line dried both, but my velcro is still great after over a year of use, no fraying, no stains, etc. My hubby loves the velcro over FuzziB's snaps, he thinks its easier. email me if you want any more commentation!

  10. oh the diaper game!! we used these one size diapers which were by far the most amazing cloth diapers we have EVER used (and the only ones I'm saving for our babe) I love the one size because they really do fit freshie to toddler. we did wool soakers with Noah...which again people thought we were nuts...a bit of extra work with lanolizing but soooo worth it. I blogged a bit about diapers & soakers and other green baby gear, might help??...

  11. I heart you mucho. If one more person gasps when I tell them about hanging my laundry, I might loose it.

    People keep telling me "Oh, you have all these great ideas like cloth diapers and glass bottles and co sleeping, etc. but wait till you get home. You'll give it all up when reality sets in."

    Gee folks, thanks for the support. For us, too, this is not simply about trying to be super parents or proving something to someone. It is the lifestyle we have chosen. Sure, adjustments will be made. But, we stick to our convictions pretty well now and I don't see that changing.

    Wow. Thanks for letting me vent :).

    That said, we've been gifted a large supply of FuzziBunz, so that is what we are planning on using. We'll probably also use some gDiapers with cloth inserts (might make some, or might just buy the new ones from gDiapers) since we have been given some of those as well.


  12. I cannot remember which we used (it wasn't any you've listed) this was six years ago. I do remember the tabs were velcro and did get fuzzy and still i was able to pass them on after we were done with them. I loved them! They were soooooo cuddly. I also had tissue paper inserts that were disposable and that i liked and then inserts of more fabric for night time. they were adorable on their own so in the summer it was just diaper and shirt and they held up very well - no leaks. So go for it. maybe you can order a couple from each place.

    we air dry too. we also compost. we use the same water bottles and we buy from the thrift shops if we can. i love that there are more and more families making this the new 'norm'

    good luck in your search!

  13. I have a declasse' clothesline too-not ashamed. We are using disposable-ashamed, but I have somehow convinced myself that my 20 years as a vegetarian cancels out my bad diaper karma. Sure hope so.

  14. Welcome, welcome, welcome home!!! I knew you were back via the blogosphere but am happy to have new posts to read. You will definitely have to let us know what you decide. We're inheriting diapers from my sister and I think they might be bum genius. So funny that people would think that you are crazy for line drying clothes. Is anything better than sheets that have been dried in the sun? And little twinling clothes soaked in sun- I mean seriously!!! We don't have awesome sunny LA weather year round so we do plenty of basement line drying too.
    Do you have any thoughts on glass versus stainless steel bottles? This is what I want to investigate next. I was assuming we would try to do glass but nonetheless am curious.

    Keep posting even little pics of unidentifiable but still ubercutiewondertwinful legs and buns and feet.

  15. We tried fuzzi bunz but they leaked repeatedly and consistently for us. I switched to G-diapers but used the fuzzi bunz cotton inserts, and that was FABULOUS till about 10 months old, then the pee became too much and we had leakage. So I did something that I guarantee you have not heard before: we added a sponge to the diaper, right up against the plastic liner and behind the cotton insert. Not a square, thick sponge, rather one of those flat, 8 x 8 inch sponges that they sell in packs of five or so. Once you use them and dry them once (I assume line drying will work just as well), they will shrink to almost the perfect width and length for the g-diaper.

    That's what we did. It worked really, really, really great until two months ago, when I lost my ambition and have been using pampers. (Not to say this will happen to you. Just to me. I have been having a tired spell.)


  16. I love hanging my clothes on the clothesline. They smell great and dry quicker than using the dryer even! Sadly, now that school is back in session, I can't do all umpteen million loads of laundry on one day and the dryer is in use again. Ugh.

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip and see more bum pictures of the Wonder Twins!

    Btw, one of the pictures you sent us of Baby A has become a favorite. Thanks again!

  17. You are not alone I'm a freecycler, craigslister, thriftstorer, yes, line dry clothes (use only Mrs. Meyer's products); however, I use both types of diapers. Disposables for when we are out and about for more than 2 hours, cloth for at home with several hours a day allowing her to go bare bottom while the California weather is delicious.

    I made my cloth diapers from old receiving blankets I got from freecyclers and from the Salvation Army in my area (they give them out for free). I found several wonderful, easy to follow patterns off the internet. It took 2 days to whip up 10 heavy-duty-lined diapers that are absolutely soft on the butt.

  18. i don't have a kid (yet!) but am going to put in my weird 2 cents - you could use less diapers if you toilet train EARLIER - have you seen this?

    there is a small-but-enthusiastic movement to basically potty train babies before 1 year... it seems labor intensive, and potentially messy for a little while, but hey - you would use WAY less diapers in the end! the idea is to not let them learn to ignore the signs that they have to go, or to stay so dry with super-absorbent diapers that they are OK with going in a diaper...i'm totally intrigued!


  19. The links didn't come up for me. Honestly I tried G diapers. They were okay but I woudln't waste your money. At least that is the way I feel. They didn't hold all of what our son gave out! We had problems all of the time. Cloth diapers are good esp. if you have good liners! Your twins are SO cute! I can't imagine how busy you are. I bet it is fun though!

  20. I love cloth! I was so scared to use cloth, but once I made the step I have been so happy. We were given a ton of G-diaper covers, so that is what we use with our cloth. I don't love the G-diaper inserts, but I do love using the covers with cloth.
    I must say...your babies buns are very cute!
    I also stopped by to let you know...I have two cute baby dolls sitting on my couch right now for baby 'g' and baby 'f'...they are getting a ton of love from Mezmur and Rhett.

  21. I think we are a similar shade of pale lime on the green scale. I dream of being a deep dark luscious green, but not there yet. As for diapers I used cloth with covers and I dried them on my extra large rack.

    This rack is great because the wind won't tip it over and it folds up nice and small. I managed to wash and line dry everything despite the fact that I live in a rain forest. Okay, that's a lie, but it rained so freaking much here this summer that it really FELT like a rain forest. I digress. At night I would use super soaker upper of some sort or another to try and stem the tide.

    Those are the cutest baby bums I have seen in a long time, the fact that they are twin bums makes them cuter!

  22. I use G Diapers and disposables. Here's the thing that I've discovered with the Gs. There are plenty of frustrating blowouts where poo gets all over the cloth, then you have to wash the insert and the cloth - considering which might actually cancel out the environmental effectiveness, all the water. I hang these dry, but all the water, the constant washing them. It's also annoying since they aren't suppose to do this. Supposedly.

    So, I am ashamed to say I've been using disposables more and more...

    Love the hanging dry your clothes. I want to put a clothesline up to do that as well.


  23. You guys rock! We don't have a dishwasher either and people think we're crazy when they come to our house. We tried the line dry thing, but it doesn't work out so well in Florida. Way too much humidity. Keep me posted on what you find out with the cloth diapers. I've done a little research but I'm not completely sold on any of them yet.

  24. I want to cloth diaper. Honestly I do. But it rains here. A LOT. And J is very, very anti-dryer. We have one, I'm jsut not allowed to USE it (no kidding). So... when you've done your research, and make a decision, take lots of cute pics of cloth-covered butts and convince me! They do seem WAY cuter than plastic butts.

  25. ... and ps, I don't think I ever actually said welcome home! Really sorry! Is it too late to say it now??

  26. I wanted to say was bravo for hanging out your washing. I'm from scotland where every back yard has a whirlygig and clothing is hung out in almost religious fashion. With the changable weather in scotland you'll hear women everywhere declare, "its going to rain, I better go get the washing in". After living in the US for 17 years (on Friday!) I just got my own whirlygig installed in my own back yard. I was seduced by the dryer for many years, but now am so in love with hanging out the bedsheets and towels that it makes me very happy to do it. And an added benefit of living in the USA... the weather is so much better than in Scotland! PS I'm new to your blog and liking it!