You Asked: Cloth Diapers, Potty Training and Cross Country

Ready for some more Q &A?

If not, I apologize, it’s the only thing I have enough brain power to post.  Today we bought 170 pounds of chicken, 100 pounds of ground beef and 30 pounds of roast in addition to a hundred cans of tomato sauce, dozens of pounds of cheese and much more, over $1000 worth of groceries!  Good thing that I was helping shop for our bulk cook day when our family gets together with 4 other large families and prepares about 2 months worth of evening meals.  I got ground beef duty, so we will be browning 80 pounds of it tomorrow.

Jessica (Mama Mirage) asked a slew of questions, “I was wondering if you have any tips for potty training!!!

I’m getting ready to start potty training our baby and my short answer is, “not really”.  It is a good idea to pay attention and start working with them when they show signs of readiness and not before or after.  We do have 8 potty trained children and we have a system that we use and it works for us, but kids are all so different and each time we finish the process I just sigh and think, “Boy I’m glad that is over.”

There is a discussion devoted to potty training in the Raising Olives forum, so if you have some great tips, please head over and share them with us, ’cause I’m looking to begin the process again shortly. 🙂

Were you an adult when you learned to knit?

Yes, I learned to knit while I was pregnant with Colby (3).

Do your kids knit?

Yes. Amber (13, gasp! we have a teenager), Kaitlin (11) and Alyssa (9) are prolific.  Everyone else older than 3 knows how to finger knit.

Do your kids ever insinuate that they would prefer public school?

Nope.  We’ve actually offered to send them to school for a day, so they can see what it’s like, but we didn’t get any takers.

Do you have any mother-daughter traditions?

We try to have tea parties on a semi-regular basis.  We love to browse yarn shops and yard sale together.  I enjoy giving the girls manicures and/or pedicures and the little ones  love it when I play beauty shop with them and let them put on makeup. I spend a lot of time reading aloud to all of the kids.  We also have the tradition that for each child’s tenth birthday they get to take an overnight trip with either mom or dad. (Mark gets the boys and I get the girls.)

Dawn @ Olive Plants inquired, “Do your kids run cross country through a local program?

Yes, our local track club is one of the 10 largest track and field clubs in the nation.  The program that our kids take part in is open to all schools and groups in our area, so our little homeschool team gets the opportunity to compete with all of the public and private schools.  There are more than 500 elementary runners in each race and around 400 middle schoolers.

The coach for our team is one of my friends from our mom’s group and the woman who introduced me to bulk freezer cooking.  Yes, we cook together.  🙂  We’ve been very blessed with the opportunity for our children to run cross country with such great coaches and fun, competitive program.

Kelli @ The McCurdy Family, who is a real life friend of mine requested, “I need to get a blog lesson from you because I have no idea how to link things to my blog. If it’s not too complicated, maybe you could tell me how to do that here.

Here’s how you add a link in blogger. When you are composing a post type the words that you want to be the link, in my post above I typed The McCurdy Family.  Then you highlight those words by moving over them while holding down the left mouse button.  Once they are highlighted you will want to click on the icon of the world with a link at the top of it. (It is the 6th from the left of the icons that begin with a font box. You’ll know you have the right one if you hover over it and a little box with the word “link” in it appears.) When you click this a box will pop up that says “Enter URL” and has a space to do that. I always just copy and paste the URL that I’m linking to into that box. Once you’ve done that hit OK. Tuh Duh! You just created a hyper link.

Of course there is also a way to code a link by typing in the HTML code.  If I wanted to create the same link by typing code, I would type <a href=””>The McCurdy Family</a> .  You can learn more about coding by simply clicking on the “Edit HTML” tab and looking at the code. Blogger makes it easy to learn a lot of HTML by simply using the shortcuts to create a post and then looking at how things like bold, italic, font changes, images and hyperlinks are coded in the “Edit HTML” tab area. Clear as mud?

Valerie queried, “Do those booties actually stay on the feet?” in regard to my cable knit baby bootie pattern.

Yes, these booties stay on babies feet. The pattern has you add a tie, so you tie them on and they don’t fall off.  I don’t do any booties that don’t tie on, I hate losing footwear!

Just so you know, if you ever have a pair of knit (or crochet) booties, you can always add your own tie. Both knitting and crocheting are generally loose enough that if you crochet a chain you will be able to thread it through the regular stitching even if there is no eyelet row.

She also asked, “What kind of diapers do you recommend?

First, we use cloth diapers to save money, so we didn’t buy anything very expensive.  Our system works well for us, but I know that if you spend more money you can get some features that can make things easier.  Also, I love natural materials, so wool is an obvious choice for us.

We use high quality Chinese pre-folds and I make wool covers (this link has some good info about knitting soakers along with some links to online patterns and info about dyeing your own yarn).  Did you know that the lanolin in wool neutralizes the ammonia in urine eliminating the odor?  When the lanolin comes into contact with urine a chemical reaction occurs which creates a type of soap.  This has an anti-bacterial affect which makes the wool self cleaning.  You only need 3-4 wool covers for full time cloth diapering, unless you purchase some really thick soakers which take more than 24 hours to dry.  I love wool, it just seems like the perfectly created material for diapers. 🙂  We bought 2 wool covers for night time use, but now know that my homemade ones work just as well.  My favorite free soaker pattern is this pattern for the Curly Purly Soaker.  Nick is modeling one of these soakers in this Wordless Wednesday post.

The pre-folds are just the regular flat diapers that our parents or grandparents used.  Invest in some nice quality pre-folds (around $1.50-$2.00 each) and you won’t regret it.

Kristy wondered if the hand-dyed play silks are washable or if they tend to bleed if they are thrown in the washing machine.

I always hand-wash ours, but I suppose you could wash them on a delicate cycle of your washer.

In regard to the colors bleeding, it never hurts to double check, but if in step 4 (rinse with cool water) the water runs completely clear, they should not bleed.  Anyone have any different experience with that?  However, I find that the reds take a VERY long time to rinse before the water runs clear, so I’d keep an eye on those.

More questions?  Feel free to ask.  Did I not explain something clearly, want to know more about it?  Let me know.  🙂

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17 Responses to You Asked: Cloth Diapers, Potty Training and Cross Country
  1. Young Wife
    September 24, 2009 | 12:12 pm

    Thanks for the information on cloth diapers. I don’t personally know anyone who uses cloth, so the advice is really helpful. I don’t have children, but my husband has mentioned cloth diapers would be cheaper than disposable. The lanolin and urine chemical reaction is good to know!


  2. Deb
    September 24, 2009 | 12:22 pm

    Two thumbs up for freezer cooking!! Really, is there any other way to live? I am a confirmed freezer cooking enthusiast, and always happy to see a fellow convert! I am just gearing up for my Big Fall Cook. I have a fantastic Chicken and Black Bean Chile recipe that is awesome and most importantly Super Easy, so email me if you’d be interested.


  3. Heather F
    September 24, 2009 | 1:54 pm

    Our family uses cloth for economic reasons as well, and I laughed to see that we seem to diaper similarly. I was overjoyed to discover wool covers with baby #3, as I’m a knitter and they are so fun, quick and practical. Sadly, #3 has eczema and the wool and/or lanolin really irritates his sweet skin… So we’re back in good old fashioned “plastic pants.”

    Also a dedicated freezer cooker, and it’s time for me to plan and implement our latest venture. Our mutual friend, Kelly M., introduced me to the easiest way to to make pizza/spaghetti sauce – no cooking at all! Mix it all up and freeze. Have fun with your 80 pounds of ground beef!


  4. Ashley
    September 24, 2009 | 4:31 pm

    I want to hear more about bulk freezer cooking. Do you just cook many meals at once and freeze? are there some meals or even ingrediants that are better suited for freezing?


    Raising Olives Reply:

    Ashley – This is another topic that has gotten a good amount of interest that deserves it’s own post. I hope to get to it, but am not promising soon. 🙂

    Jessi – I’m glad that I made you happy and you’re right, updated.


  5. Nicki
    September 24, 2009 | 5:12 pm

    I have also offered to let my kids attend school for a day (or a week!) or to replicate a day of PS at home when they think they are being asked too much. So far, no thanks!


  6. Jessi
    September 24, 2009 | 7:38 pm

    1. I’m always in the mood for Q&A posts!

    2. I have no reason to buy ‘that’ much meat at this point in my life, but I do enjoy buying a half a cow and large sets of pork/chicken from the local butcher every so often. I also do “cooking days” every month or two months to create a whole bunch of meals for the freezer. When I read your first answer, I mentally squealed a little bit and copied/pasted the quote to a friend who knows how excited I get over my cooking days and the day I found a local butcher. The response? That I’d reached a new low/high, lol. And then it was corrected to say “well, it’d actually be really interesting to do that much at once, but I’d hate to be on duty of browning 80 pounds of meat at once, yuck.” Haha.

    3. You officially have a teenager! It’s time to update your little “about me” section in the lefthand sidebar to say your children are through age 13, hehe.


  7. Jama
    September 25, 2009 | 7:36 am


    Did you know you can cook ground beef in a pot of water? It takes some time after cooking to crumble into fine pieces for spaghetti sauce, etc., but IMO it is MUCH faster than doing it all in a skillet.:-)

    Happy Cooking!


  8. Deb
    September 25, 2009 | 12:12 pm

    I’d be interested to see a few of your freezer cooking recipes, if you’re inclined to share. I am always looking for new things to add to my repertoire.


  9. Mama Mirage
    October 2, 2009 | 3:56 pm

    Thank you! 🙂


  10. Mama Mirage
    October 2, 2009 | 4:02 pm

    Okay where/how did you learn to knit?! I’ve been trying to learn since I was like 10. I took lessons when I was 12. I’ve read several teach yourself to knit books. I just can’t seem to LIKE doing it even though I have the basics down. What is the secret to getting good enough at it to like doing it- or more accurately, what is the secret to liking it enough to practice until you are good at it? The only things I can knit really are dishcloths and that gets really boring after so many. 😉 Maybe since I can crochet super well that is why I don’t have the motivation to knit. I see something knitted and think, “I’ll bet I could convert that to crochet…”

    I’m looking forward to future posts on why Greek, and freezer meals. 😉


    Raising Olives Reply:

    I taught myself to knit primarily using a little kit from Wal-Mart, “Teach Yourself to Knit” or something like that. I had crocheted since I was a girl and didn’t like knitting at first either. When I began using wool covers with baby number 8, I realized that the nicer soaker patterns were mostly knit and then I realized that knitting uses up less yarn than crocheting. Once I committed to knitting I began to love it and now prefer knitting over crochet. It is a lot more versatile and the shaping is fascinating to me.


  11. Kathi
    November 18, 2009 | 4:07 pm

    You mean I can just buy some chinese prefolds and wool soakers and be good to go?

    …We’ve put this whole cloth diapering thing off because we didn’t have a few hundred dollars to get started (meanwhile spending about $80 a month on LUVS).

    Seriously, to cloth diaper this way with an 18 mo old and 6 week old, how many do we need to buy, and what would be an approximate cost? And how exactly do you put them on (diaper pins scare me)? How do you wash and dry them?


    Raising Olives Reply:

    Yep, how cool is that?

    Depending on how often you want to do laundry. I wash diapers every other day and with two kids in diapers I was good with 3 dozen quality pre-folds. I have more covers than I need simply because I enjoy making them. But I’d say that 4-5 covers for one child would be plenty, you’d need more if they are super thick and dry slowly and less if they are all hand knit with a single layer of yarn.

    As far as fastening the diapers, they have these wonderful little things called Snappi’s

    Hope that helps!


  12. Nicole
    January 20, 2010 | 9:16 am

    We love our cloth diapers. We use prefolds with snappis and thirsties, prowraps and a fleece cover for night from (WAHM site).


  13. Cross Country | Raising Olives
    May 12, 2010 | 8:57 pm

    […] info about the  cross country program we’re involved […]

  14. […] Cross Country – The children compete in both the spring and fall and run fairly regularly during the off seasons. […]

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