Review: Hybrid Pocket Fitted Diaper by Poodelum & Missy Kate

I’ve never had a diaper quite like this one before. We have fitteds, and we have pockets, but this is the first diaper that is both!

“Located in beautiful Bend, Ore., ‘Poodelum & Missy Kate’ began on the far end of my enormous kitchen table with my sister’s borrowed sewing machine.

Just this last spring, I decided to make a change. Our youngest, now 9 months, was going through disposable diapers with lightning speed. I had always been curious about cloth diapering and decided to take the plunge. I already did a TON of laundry anyway, so why not?

My curiosity grew when I found out how many different kinds/types/brands there were. I asked all my mama friends to share any knowledge they had and began searching blogs for any insight mamas I didn’t even know wanted to share with the world.

I became obsessed. But not really obsessed to the point where I buy every different kind/brand out there. I became obsessed with figuring out how to make them myself.

I’ve always been ‘crafty.’ It’s in my nature. I’ve always loved sewing and creating. But now, absorbing a wealth of information from other know-how, crafty, do-it-yourself-genius mamas, I am striving to become an expert.”

Click on Photos to Enlarge:

I received a one-size hybrid pocket fitted to review.

The outside of this diaper is made of cotton interlock, and the inside is lined with french terry cloth. French terry cloth is not considered a stay-dry fabric, but that is normal for a fitted diaper.

Because this is a hybrid fitted, there’s a layer of fleece sewn in the middle to help the outer layer stay drier longer. However, this diaper does need a cover to be completely waterproof.

The pocket of this diaper is quite wide, so an insert can be used if desired for extra absorbency. I used it with a BumGenius insert, and it fit quite nicely.

Our Experiences with the Diaper:

Since this diaper doesn’t come with a closure, a Snappi or diaper pin should be used to close it. Because of this and the fold down rise, it’s easy to adjust this diaper to fit all sizes of babies. This can be a great thing for newborns, small babies, or skinny babies.

Because of the fabric used, I wasn’t sure how well a Snappi would hold it together, so I used a diaper pin. My son is really squirmy, so I did struggle getting the diaper fastened with the pin. However, I know many parents have become well-practiced at using pins and can do it quite quickly. Also, Kate mentioned to me that she has become adept at fastening a cover over this style of diaper without a Snappi, pin, or any type of closure.

If you’re not sure that a no closure diaper is for you, Kate does make them WITH closures.

With one microfiber insert inside, this diaper started to feel damp on my son after two hours, so I definitely recommend using this with a cover. An extra insert or doubler can also be used.

On its own, it’s a simple diaper without a lot of bells and whistles. But what it does have is the ability to be customized to fit many sizes of babies: from the very thin to the very chunky. It’s made well with even stitching and nice, wide elastic. It’s also very reasonably priced: without closure $13, with closure $14.

5 1/2 months old, 19 pounds, 24 inches long

Besides the hybrid pocket fitted diaper, Poodelum & Missy Kate also sells pocket diapers, all-in-twos, hybrid fitteds, fitteds, fleece soakers, wool soakers, and inserts.

You can win a $25 gift certificate to Poodelum & Missy Kate to choose and purchase your own diaper! Come back to My Life: A Work in Progress on Oct. 25 for the Hoppin’ Halloween Giveaway Hop (Oct. 25-31).

Can’t wait? Visit Poodelum & Missy Kate on Facebook to buy your own!

Note: I received a sample product to review. I was not compensated for this review. The opinions are my own and may differ from yours.

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A Family Outing: Fort Monroe, Virginia

If you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia (or you’re driving through), consider stopping at Fort Monroe. After visiting there today with my parents and my son, I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before! I suppose it’s because the east coast is filled with historical sites, so what’s one more? Really, though, the history that took place at Fort Monroe is just incredible. Oh, and the best part…it’s free!

Formerly an Army installation, Fort Monroe was decommissioned just last year and is now a national monument. The guard shack is even still in place at the main gate, but empty now, of course.

From the National Park Service: “Fort Monroe National Monument spans the American story from the 17th to the 21st centuries: Captain John Smith’s journeys, a haven of freedom for the enslaved during the Civil War, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay.”

Did you know Lincoln stayed there? Robert E. Lee was stationed there? Edgar Allan Poe was a Soldier there? And that Jefferson Davis was held there? Fort Monroe was often called “Freedom’s Fortress,” because of the hundreds of runaway slaves that sought and found refuge there during the Civil War.

Once you get on the island, to get to the museum, you first have to drive or walk across a bridge over a moat and then go through an opening in an old, brick fortification. We walked through, and it was a very cool feeling going through an entrance that thousands of people have walked through over hundreds of years.

On the other side of the wall, is a quiet, peaceful, well-kept community. After the Army left, the installation’s historic homes became available on a lease basis. The museum is located inside in the fortification’s casemate.

I wish I’d taken more photos, but I was distracted by Mr. Fussy Pants, unfortunately. You can, however, view a virtual tour of the Casemate Museum here.

Have you ever visited Fort Monroe? Did you like it?
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Guest Post- Cooking with Kids: Meatballs

UPDATED 11/19/13- Nicole Elizabeth is launching a new website soon! In the meantime, I don’t have access to the photos for this recipe, so the links were broken. I will hopefully be able to add them back in eventually, but the recipe is still accessible below. You can check out Nicole Elizabeth’s new Facebook page HERE.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard comments from students and friends that paint a picture of how they imagine my life in the kitchen must be. Their comments are usually peppered with words like “organized,” “focused,” “effortless,” “relaxed,” and “efficient.” The general idea seems to be that I always cook in a well-lit kitchen with my photo-ready mise en place and my professional-grade range. I leisurely work my way through recipes while my children play contentedly at my feet, and I somehow manage to keep my vintage-inspired apron free of stains, smudges, or any other signs that I have actually been cooking. Oh, and did I mention I cook in heels? The whole image is very warm, homespun chic, and couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality of most days in the kitchen usually involves me in my cramped, poorly-lit apartment kitchen, still wearing last night’s yoga pants and some ratty t-shirt that I pulled from my husband’s side of the closet, hurriedly cramming as much ingredient prep as I can into nap time. Once the kids are up, the majority of my cooking is either improvised or on autopilot and done with a baby or toddler on my hip while I cook over a stove with only three working burners, two of which are crooked. Martha Stewart, I am not.

A couple of days a week, however, I try to set aside the usual frenetic pace of our afternoon and evening routine and, instead of going to the park or doing arts and crafts with my toddler, we cook dinner together. Most people are surprised that I would enlist the help of a two year old in the kitchen because of the extra cleanup involved, but cooking is much easier when she is happily helping than it is when I’m trying to work around her, so it just makes sense to let her help. She is inquisitive, bright, learns quickly, and is already quite the little sous chef, and nothing beats her smile and her contagious laugh when she is doing something she loves.

How does someone let their child get involved with cooking from such a young age? It takes a little advance planning and patience, but not much else. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, don’t tackle a recipe that intimidates you. Cook something you are comfortable with and have made a few times before so that you don’t have any surprises sneak up on you when you already have your hands full with your child.

Second, take a look at the recipe and separate the steps that your child can do either alone or with help from the ones you have to do by yourself. For example, in the meatball recipe below, my daughter didn’t help with any of the steps that involved raw meat and eggs since I know she will do everything in her power to taste whatever she is working with. She mixed the dry ingredients by hand and squeezed the excess liquid from the spinach on her own, and she measured the seasonings with my help. Knowing ahead of time what your child can do will help you with time management and organization.

Third, plan more time than you think you will need. Cooking with your kids isn’t just about cooking. It’s about spending quality time with them, teaching them skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, and connecting with them in a way that not many other things allow. You’re elbow to elbow with them for a couple of hours straight, working toward a common goal, with no electronic distractions and plenty of time to talk. Give yourself enough time to really enjoy it.

I have two favorite meatball recipes, and this is the one I usually make before it gets too cold outside. These are not heavy, fatty meatballs, but they’re still substantial enough that you only need a couple on your plate to feel satisfied. As I said in my example above, there is plenty for even a young toddler to do here, and older children can do more, like help incorporate the dry ingredients into the meat and form the meatballs, or even swap out ingredients and change the flavor profile. I like to make double or triple batches and freeze the extras for days that I’m short on time. Keep a small batch of tomato sauce in the freezer, too, and you’ll always have something on hand to throw over rice, pasta, or polenta. The amounts given in the recipe below are for a double batch, which is about 55 meatballs for me, but that will vary depending on how large you make your meatballs. If that sounds like too much, cut the recipe in half for a single batch.

Baked Meatballs

Adapted from Alton Brown

1 lb. each of ground pork, ground lamb, and ground round

2 eggs, lightly beaten (toddler can help beat the eggs)

10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed, and squeezed of excess water (toddler-friendly task)

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

3 teaspoons each of dried basil and dried parsley

2 teaspoons each of garlic powder and kosher salt

Up to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 cup bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two jellyroll pans (cookie sheets) with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, add the ground meats, eggs, and spinach, but to avoid excess mixing (which makes for a tough meatball), wait to mix them together until the dry ingredients are added. Set aside.

3. In another large bowl, add cheese, herbs, seasonings, and bread crumbs and mix thoroughly with your hands. Toddlers love this part.

4. Add the meat mixture to the breadcrumb mixture and lightly mix until well incorporated. Try to avoid mashing the meat, as this will make tough meatballs. You can use the mixture immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

5. To form the meatballs, roll pieces of the meat mixture into generous golf ball-sized portions and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 2o minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nicole Muvundamina at The Fresh Kitchen teaches in-home cooking classes in the western Chicago suburbs. She works with home cooks of all levels, but she has a soft spot for moms who feel completely clueless in the kitchen. Her goal is to take the intimidation out of cooking and make it fun and approachable for newbies, and to get people who already know their way around the kitchen to step out of their culinary comfort zones and try something new! Follow The Fresh Kitchen on Twitter @TheFreshKitchen and Facebook: TheFreshKitchen.

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