Adventures in Homeschooling in Southern Indiana

Sunday, March 23, 2014

10 Years in the Diaper Mines: Advice on the Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers from a Mom of Six

I never did this - We have too many allergies for blissful line-drying!

I’ve diapered non-stop since 2004. For most of that time, I’ve had two kids in diapers. For a few, hellish months, I diapered three kids, and there were even fleeting period with only one child in diapers. At this point, I pretty much have a PhD in cloth diapers. Consider this blog post my dissertation.

Diapering is one of those flash points in the Mommy Wars, but I’ve never been a zealot about it the way I was about nursing (until I experienced the other side with a very sick baby), homeschooling (until I gained some humility) or screen time (until I got very, very tired).

Originally we chose cloth because we were broke. Today, we still use cloth – because we’re cheap. I might have envied my friends who could afford all the disposable diapers they wanted, but I never looked down on them.

So, with that in mind, here’s my round up on the good, the bad, and the poopy of cloth diapers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Reviving the Blog

Wow! Five years since I posted here. But I wanted a place to blog our adventures in homeschooling, so I'm reviving this blog, with a new purpose.

These days, I have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a Kindergartener, a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a baby. Obviously, I have plenty of time to blog.  Anyway, expect occasional updates in this space, since I've decided that it's time to start blogging for me again. Even if I don't pay myself as well as corporations do!

Loving That Lincoln Loofah

Treasure beyond Your Wildest Dreams
On Saturday, the kids and I spent the morning at Abraham Lincoln's Boyhood Home in Lincoln City, Indiana.  The park runs an excellent living history museum, and we visit a lot during the spring, summer and fall.  Last week, the park hosted a pioneer gardening workshop, and my bigger kids got to help prep the garden for spring planting. (My littles could have helped, but they preferred to watch the chickens. But the big kids made a good effort.)

My eldest daughter worked at clearing brush so that the horse-drawn plow could get in and churn up the ground. While cleaning, she found a strange, skeletal thing in the dirt. The ranger explained that it was the remains of a Loofah squash. The pioneers grew them to use as sponges, and the plants are the source of the natural exfoliating sponges that you see in the health and beauty aisle.

Some fun with Google revealed that when the squashes are young, they're delicious, and when they're older, they're a cleaning supply! (My kids tend to be ambivalent about foods that double as cleaners. My son freaks out whenever I make a vinaigrette for the salad. "Mom! That's a cleaning chemical! You're trying to poison me!")

The ranger let my daughter keep the Loofah she'd found. She's planning on planting the seeds in her corner of the garden, and she hopes to sell her homegrown sponges at the farmer's market next year. I'm less confident of our ability not to screw up, but with luck, we should have a nice crop by fall.

For Local Readers: Next weekend, the Lincoln Boyhood Home is finishing up its first experiment in making maple syrup! Come Saturday morning at 9 for education and pancakes! How can you go wrong? A family annual membership to the park is only $10, so if you homeschool in Southwest Indiana, plan on making it a regular stop.