Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I just wanted to say I love being a mom. It is so much fun to see my two year old's personality shining through. He has the energy of a hummingbird, with his incessant talking, climbing, and running around. He has the inquisitive nature of his Great Grandpa Merkley and several times a day has every single book he has strewn all over the house (I will need to post a picture of this when I remember to). He loves to sing, smile, hug, and give kisses, especially, to his baby sister Hannah.
We are cloth diapering. Here 's Hannah in one of her first diapers. This was in August when it was still warm out now it's freezing outside.
I tend to be a yeller/firm voice when I lose my patience but I need to stop with Taylor. Half the time he doesn't deserve it and he will almost always burst out in tears. But he is such an angel always so quick to forget and forgive. My daughter on the other hand,is so mellow, most of the time. She is starting to smile and coo now and wanting to interact more. I want to cherish the next few months where she wants to play more BEFORE she gets mobile (:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Menu Plan for 7-4 through 7-12

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Currently, I am 35 1/2 weeks pregnant and sick with a head cold. My husband and son are out watching fireworks without me. But despite my dropping appetite I still need to feed my family. And if I hit an energy spurt and decide to fill my freezers I need some meal ideas that freeze well.

Here are some ideas I have for dinners as I mentally scan my cupboards, freezer, and storage.

Chicken Curry/Hawaiian Haystacks
German Pancakes and fruit salad
Veggie Enchiladas and Jello Salad
Sloppy Joes and Green Beans
Family bbq
Garlic chicken
Mac N' Cheese and nectarines

Teriyaki Chicken

Iceberg Drive-Inn

And for Baking:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mother's Milk Cookies (frozen dough for postpartum)
Cake in a Mug

Freezer Cooking
black bean soup
chicken pot pie

We do have family visiting so there will be some impromptu family get togethers but I hope this will keep me accountable.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 3 & 4 - Flats and Handwashing challenge

You are probably wondering what a flat is and if I have lost my ever loving mind.
First of all here are a few pictures of flats:
Drying Flats

I am using tea towels you can get 4 for 3.99 at Target.  You can also use old receiving blankets or old towels.  This can cause some people to get really creative (:
I have decided that through this challenge I have felt like a pioneer.  I have thought about my ancestors, people in third world countries, and those experiencing natural disasters.  I have thought about what it means to be prepared; and what I would do if my washer went out.  Hopefully, have enough money in savings to replace it or fix it.

But to tell you the truth it really hasn't been that hard besides the handwashing part (that really gives you an arm workout).  Taylor wets less diapers and not for a lack of me checking him.  And I've noticed he is now often letting me know when he is wet!

Another benefit to these diapers over pocket diapers are they are alot less bulky.  His everyday clothes fit him better.  And flat diapers clean alot better; I am frustrated with the microfiber stink.

Anyways, Saturday will be my last handwashing day and then I go back to using my washer.  Yeah!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 2 - Flats and Handwashing Challenge

Ok, handwashing was harder than I thought. Bending over the tub at seven and a half months pregnant doesn't help.

I've decided that since I have enough flats I am going to wait two days to wash. And I will wash in the morning so that they can dry faster outside.

I don't have a drying rack; so do you think my neighbor would mind terribly if I hung some on the backyard fence? She will be at work. (:

I will rinse the pee diapers out every night and let the poo diapers soak seperately I read that on another blog post. I think that will help them get cleaner when I wash them. I noticed when I was folding the diapers this morning there were some stains on them; I hope they come out with the sun.

Here are the rules to this challenge and lnk-ups to some of the 300+ people participating in this challenge.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day One - Diaper Challenge

It's Monday and it's raining outside; good thing we got our gutters cleaned and the back downspout extended. Now for quiet day at home.

I'm not complaining too much because the longer it waits to get hot the more bearable these last few months of pregnancy is going to be. I am a little more than 10 weeks from my due date. And I feel like it's going to go by fast.

Today I start the first day of the Flats Handwashing Challenge. My first step is to hide all the fancy cloth diapers so we don't cheat. And it does say you can use another overnight diaper so I'm debating over using a disposable or a prefold wrapped in a flat.

Other than that the day should go on the same as usual. Most of the time, Tator Tot will still fight diaper changes.

I can't believe that in a few months I will TWO bums to change. But I love my kids and am so blessed to be their mom.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge - How I am preparing

A couple months ago there was an article about mothers leaving diapers on their children too long and even washing them out and reusing them.  Diapers are a necessity but are not covered by either WIC or Food stamps.  Food banks are always looking for diaper donations; so if you are fortunate to be able to give I would encourage you to do so.  

The cloth diaper community wants to empower low income families with another diapering option. It is diapering with flats (large square of fabric that can be folded to fit various size babies). With this type of diaper, a Snappi, and a few modern waterproof covers a family can start for as little as $60.  You can even handwash flats since they are easy to wash and dry fast.

Kim Rosas, the creator of Dirty Diaper Laundry, shows her readers how to make a camp style washer.  This is great for emergency preparedness for washing clothes and flat diapers.  And for those who don't have a washer and dryer who want to cloth diaper.

Wish me luck May 23rd- May 30th as I attempt this challenge.  Mind you, it is just for a week (:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cloth Diapering is coming back.

Although, approximately 80% of American families use disposable diapers today many mothers are choosing to use cloth diapers. I started CDing (cloth diapering) when my son was about two and a half months and he is now almost one and a half.

Isn’t he cute?

The #1 reason I chose to cloth diaper was MONEY.

- To diaper one child in disposables for 2.5-3 years it would cost 1500-3000. This includes wipes, diaper rash creams and Pull-ups.

- Cloth diapering will cost you anywhere between 400-1200 depending on which diapers you chose and how many diapers you buy. This includes detergent, utilities, diaper pail, and all other accessories. When you use these diapers on subsequent children your savings multiply.

I am expecting our second, a little girl, in August and will have two in diapers. So I will to have buy a few more diapers. But fortunately if ever didn’t need my diapers and wanted to sell them, cloth diapers have a 50-80% resale value. Cha-ching!

So in celebration of Earth Day on Friday, Heidi let me share a little on a greener way to diaper that will leave a little more green in your wallet.


To ask questions about cloth diapering and learn more follow my blog.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference Reflection

Today was the last day of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' General Conference.  Twice a year we gather via the airwaves to watch/listen to inspired speakers.  The two days seem to pass by so fast and then you have to sit back and let it sink in.  Was that message for me?  What can I take from this? 

Elder Holland said that none of the speakers are assigned a topic beforehand; they are simply suppoused to speak from the heart what the Lord wants them to say.  It is interesting when several people speak on the same topic.  I liked when Elder Holland said that if we are trying our best we can give ourselves high marks.  I remember a couple times in college when we got to grade ourselves in a religion class.  I was always hard on myself and could never give myself an A.  Maybe I could've given myself more credit.  No being a Latter-Day Saint isn't an easy path most of the time but it is the right path, where eternal truth lies, if we seek it, and continue in it. 

Yes, I can do better but in other areas I can give myself  "high marks". (when I just wrote that it made me cringe, I'm working on it.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Isn't Life Ironic?

Above is a link to the orignal catchy song that was so popular when I was in middle school.  But today some things happened that put a twist on the irony of life.  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed I guess.  I thought I was having a good attitude I was taking care of my son who has been sick.  And I went in later to talk to my husband and started talking to him about how hard it is when money is tight.

Ironically, today I am stuck cooking and shredding about 30 pounds of chicken.  I am exhausted!!!!
I know the Lord has a sense of humor because while I am complaining my freezer and cupboards are overflowing and I have more blessings than I know what to do with.

I have been ungrateful and for that I am sorry.  I am so glad that the I now have a clearer perspective.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gender Reveal

I already announced this on Facebook but it is official we are going to be parents to a little girl!  I think I was in a bit of denial about her possibly being a girl. Maybe I didn't want to get my hopes up I don't know.  But as the ultrasound tech got the in between the leg shot he asked me "What do you think the baby is?"  Before I even really thought about it I blurted out, " It's a boy!"  (although there was nothing there besides the clitorial line.)  I was corrected that we were having a princess!

So here we go!  I was worried before that she would be just like me and give me all the hassle I gave my parents.  But she is not me and I am going to love her despite her flaws one of which will not be being a GIRL!  Well, if you have any pointers on bringing home a baby girl let me know.

An Educated Viewpoint on Cloth Diapers!

I admit she is very opinionated about her decision to cloth diaper. There is alot of facts that she shared that I didn't know. Sometimes as parents it seems like there is so much we don't know when it comes to our children and everything that comes with them.  I think once we know the facts we need to make the best decision for our families.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ultrasound Update

The baby is doing great and is a kicker.  I guess my placenta is sitting somewhat in the front and somewhat in the back. So it might be awhile but it won't be long before I feel this baby kicking more.  I can't say what the gender is yet because we still need to let our families know.  Hopefully, I can get some pictures of us sharing our news and post them with ultrasound pics here.  I am so excited I can finally do some shopping.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ultrasound Tomorrow

Tomorrow is our 20 week ultrasound. The last time I saw my baby was at 11 weeks and 1 day so it has been a long wait.  I am nervous.  This baby doesn't move a whole lot and when I feel what I think is movement; it is like one movement and I question if it is really the baby.  It seems like lately you just hear about all the things that can go wrong.  I am so grateful to be pregnant I just want to enjoy this experience and not worry so much.  I can't wait to see the baby tomorrow.  I have been nervous this whole pregnancy but everytime I go to have an ultrasound the baby is growing and everything looks great.  Brian and I have already pretty much settled on names so it will be great to find out if we are having a little Afton B. or a little Shane Micheal.

Menu Plan for 3-14 through 3-20

Here I go again; I will take some of the recipes I didn't get to this week and move them to this week

Pizza Night
Pumpkin Pancakes and Sausage   ( I am not an expert pancake expert so I'm due alot of practice)
Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
Corned Beef and Coleslaw
Reuben Sandwiches and Dill Pickle
Taco Salad and Fresh Mangos
Relief Society Dinner
Chili Relleno Casserole

HERE IS THE RECIPE FOR THE PUMPKIN PANCAKES (I will make them tonight and let you know what we think)

Pumpkin Pie PancakesHere is a fun, festive absolutley delicious pancake recipe I 'invented' this past Sunday night for dinner. Festive, Fall on a plate! You could probably do all buttermilk or all milk, this is just what I had on hand and it worked really well.

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup pumpkin

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix just until combine. Preheat a pan or griddle (definitely recommend a
griddle) Pour batter onto cooking surface using a 1/3 c measuring cup or ice cream scoop. Serve warm with maple syrup and enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Plan for 3-6 through 3-13

As a New Year goal, I decided to start doing a menu plan.  Alot of people probably already do this flawlessly but I have never really gotten in the habit.  So far for at least a month, I have been looking in my fridge and writing down menus based on what we need to use up, what we have on hand, and recipes I have been wanting to try.  Money is tighter now that we are having money taken out of our paycheck, for our flex spending account, to cover Baby #2.  So I am glad to be getting a hang of menu planning. 

The meals I have are not assigned to days or breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  With me being pregnant sometimes I feel like dinner for breakfast or breakfast for dinner!  So we are pretty lazy dazy but at least once a day or every other day I will whip up a dinner concoction which I'm sure makes Brian happy (:

German Pancakes topped with spiced apples
Sausage and Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal and Peaches
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and Toast
Meatloaf and Carrots
Spinach Slowcooker Lasagna
Lebanese Dish (Youtube: dreamflight 6000)
Burritos Con Queso (make for/with sister-in-law that just had a baby when I go visit her)
Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, and Fruit
Dinner with Grandma
Dinner Out

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fluffy Bums!

I wanted to post this in an effort to hopefully win this giveaway Kelly Wels, a cloth diapering site, is giving away a Bum Genius 4.0 cloth diaper kit with:
  - 18 Bumgenius 4.0 diapers
  - 1 diaper pail liner
  - 1 diaper sprayer

WOW!  This is exactly what I need to diaper two babies at the same time.  I love these type of diapers!

I love cloth diapers for alot of reasons.  Comfort for baby, cost, convenience, cuteness, enviromential reasons, and they are alot easier to use than you would think.  I have wanted to cloth diaper since I was pregnant with Taylor but I got all sorts of flack when I would tell people I was considering it.  When Taylor was two or three months old I started cloth diapering him and I am so glad I did.  We need to trust our decisions as mothers and you won't know if something works for you until you try it right.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


When we were engaged, my husband and I didn't spend alot of money on dates.  We usaully would just enjoy spending time together with his family at his house.  But one thing we did alot of was go to BYU Basketball games.  I grew up in Chicago when the Bulls had their three peat with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.  And I love basketball.  I don't keep up with the NBA anymore.  But one person I do love in the basketball world right now is Jimmer Freddette. 

He started playing for BYU back when Brian and I were dating/head over heels in love. (:  (Which we still are!)  And ever since he started playing I recognized his potential and he has been my favorite player.  This is his last year and I am sad to see him go because of all the memories.  But I know we will all go on to bigger and better things.  BUT Jimmer you will be missed!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Taylor looks like he's is screaming is this picture.  And it is because he has a big annoucement to make. HE IS GOING TO BE A BIG BROTHER!  On December 8th, we found out we are expecting.  On December 29th, we saw our little baby with beating heart on an ultrasound.  And around August 8th, we will be welcoming another child into our family.  And for a couple months will be the happy and overwelmed parents of two under 2. 

We hope all goes well with the pregnancy.  We had a little scare in the beginning of the pregnancy but it was such a relief to see the ultrasound.  We hope to continue to see assurances along the way and welcome our 2011 baby in August.

Thanks for all your love.  Taylor doesn't know it but he's excited too!

                                                                      Brian, Rachel, and Taylor