Thursday, March 25, 2010

Check out Spot's Corner on Hyena Cart!

OK, I've decided to start thinning Boo's stash. After all nearly none of it fits and there are a few things that should be passed on to keep other little ones bums happy.
I opened a Hyena Cart store then I found "Spot's Corner". It's a place to sell off your gently used items! YEA!!! So anyway I have to wonderfully loved wool soakers that Penny hand knit for me a few years ago (thanks again!). There's just now way to make them fit him any longer so I listed both for sale there.
If you know anyone who can use them, please send them over here and here. They are both large/x-large so probably about 24mths-3T give or take. I put measurements in so you can check over your kiddo's best padded bum. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hi! I’m Suzanne…

I’ve been going back through my blog and I realized that I’ve never done this so here goes. Who am I and what brought me to making and selling diapers and special needs items.
Who is the “Suzanne” in Suzanne’s Special Kids?
I’m a late 30’s mom of 2 wonderful kids. Both of them are challenged but in very different ways. My oldest is extremely bright, high IQ, and is an Aspie. She has OCD tendencies, ADHD tendencies, and sensory issues. She loving and wonderful and turning 14 so becoming an independent young lady. The tendencies she shows makes her a bit challenging as does the fact that she is now a teenager.  My youngest is multiply challenged on the other end of the rainbow. He has so many physical and cognitive challenges yet he has the most gentle and loving personality. I am first and foremost a mother. It’s all I ever really wanted to do. I love to sew. I got this from my mother and her mother who both sewed regularly. Now I have the opportunity to provide options to other mothers with challenged children. This makes my passion well worth it.
I also love to read, cook and bake. I picked up a love of gardening from my grandmother and I always have plants inside and out. I am a Christian and very proud of that. I believe that God doesn’t make bad things happen to people but he does sometimes allow them so that we may grow. I believe that children like my son are born different so we may be reminded of what pure love is. I am honest, trustworthy, and humbled that God chose me to care for 2 of his precious souls. I’m happy to be a mom and wishing for more.
Why do I sew cloth diapers?
I used cloth diapers part time for my oldest because they just weren’t that easy to use. When I got pregnant with my son I found the PooPockets pattern. I loved the idea of a “one size” diaper. Birth to potty training all in one…YEA!! Just add a few pairs of plastic pants or wool covers and diapering is done. That pattern is so quick to sew and uses easy to find fabrics. I fell in love with making them and how cute they look. The creative process just took over. I could use any soft flannel and have unique cute diapers that were easy to care for. The best part was that I only had to pay for them ONCE! No buying more every few days and throwing them in the trash after each use. I began buying other patterns and drafting my own. I think I printed off every free pattern on the web! LOL!! If you love cute baby bums and even tolerate sewing….this is addictive!
Why sew with special needs in mind?
At my 20 week ultrasound we were given some challenging news. Our baby has congenital hydrocephalus. He may or may not have spina bifida. We were sent to see a few specialist and my journey into the world of special needs began. Our son will be born at 30 weeks with parts of his brian never forming. He will have cerebral palsy, epilepsy and lung disease among many other issues. It is a learning process every day. My designs are based on what works or doesn’t work for my son. Many of my testers will never see anything but my son’s bum…they aren’t all wonderful. ;) Every so often…one really works. It fits well, absorbs wonderfully, washes thoroughly, and dries in a decent amount of time. For me…that’s the perfect diaper. I really like 1 piece items since issues with high tone during a diaper change make it hard to get things fastened sometimes. I look at our challenges when diapering and use them to work toward the perfect diaper.
What made me choose toddler sizes and larger?
I’m usually up for making some wonderful itty bitty diapers so feel free to ask. However, I decided there are so few options for toddlers and larger. My son is now in kindergarten and wearing little boys clothes-not from the toddler section anymore. The options are, well, not that great. I will continue to redesign my patterns to fit as my little guy grows. I have patterns for newborn all the way up to 2XL.
I know that kids and adults alike will need undies. Just because their body gets larger doesn’t mean they can always use the potty. More likely than not, my son will always need absorbent undies. I prefer that phrase to diapers. “Diapers” just seem so babyish and he’s a big boy now. Besides, adults don’t wear diapers…they are absorbent briefs or tabbed briefs or something like that. It’s about preserving dignity and being respectful.
What are my favorite fabrics and why?
I’ve tried sooo many fabrics. I am currently in love with a bamboo/hemp blend. It’s super soft, highly absorbent and just a wonderful diaper and undies fabric. It stays soft when line dried and doesn’t hold odors. Honestly, I love most fabrics so this is a difficult question to answer. I still love cotton flannels, hemp/cotton fleece, and the old standby… cotton birdseye weave. I have really begun to love wool. I know, when most people hear “wool” they think “itchy!”. That is deceptive because it becomes itchy based on how it is spun and processed. I have a wonderful supplier, Jeanne, at Natures Fabrics. She carries only the best, softest wools. You’ll never believe it’s wool, honestly! I’ve had my mom rub it on her arm (she allergic, btw) with NO REACTION. It’s all in the way it’s spun and processed. If you aren’t sure…please, go to and get a sample…you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.
WOW, this got longer then I planned. Well it’s by no means everything but it’s a little insight into my mind and my life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How do I....?

I thought it was time to list a few posts with tips I’ve learned over the years while cloth diapering my kids. Today I’m starting with washing tips.
There are lots of ways to wash your cloth diapers. Lots of detergents, homemade laundry soaps, tips for the type of washer you have, people who say you “must” do this or that. Honestly, I think simple is better. I mean we do this for a lot of reasons and one of them is usually to be “greener” which means less water and chemicals to me.
I’ve tried just about every kind of “off the shelf” detergent at our local Mart and grocery stores. Honestly, our water is so hard that there wasn’t much difference for us. Off the shelf, I do prefer Purex Free & Clear or All Free & Clear. The free & clear detergents tend to rinse more thoroughly the first time thus not requiring a second rinse for us. I use an oxygen bleach if I think about it a few times a month. Sun makes a reasonably priced one that works well.
By far my favorite detergent is soapnuts liquid. I make it 2-3 times a month by boiling about 15 soapnuts in 7 cups of water for 30 minutes. I add a few drops of tea tree oil for it’s antibacterial properties and viola! Laundry soap that is perfect for all the wash you do. Whatever type of soap you use…just be sure to use ½ less in your diapers.
Here’s a run down of how I store and wash Boo’s diapers.
 I use a dry pail. I dump any solid waste into the toilet before putting the diaper in the pail. I now own a diaper sprayer but still don’t use it often…it’s just not a necessity for me. I do put tea tree oil on a scrap of flannel or baking soda sprinkled into the pail to help with odors. I just toss it all into the washer when it’s time to wash.
 I do un-stuff my DS’s pocket style diapers if I remember. Sometimes they won’t do it themselves in the washer. :)
 I wash every 3-4 days. I just dump the pail in the washer and run a cold rinse cycle. This takes care of any solid waste that I missed. I also like to add an enzyme treatment like Totally Toddler, OUT (same stuff), or BacOut if I have one. If I use it I will fill the washer and let it sit for a few minutes before I run the rinse cycle the rest of the way.
 I wash on the longest hottest wash my machine does with a single cold rinse at the end. I have a top loader so I fill the load completely and only rinse once unless absolutely necessary. This saves a bit of water since it hold so much.
 I love to line dry them if it’s warm enough out. The sun does wonders to remove stains and kill bacteria.
 If it’s not seasonally appropriate to line dry then I set the dryer on hot and dry for 60-70 minutes. I have a mix of flannel pockets and bamboo/hemp fleece so the longer time works to get them dry. If for some reason they aren’t I also own one of those folding laundry racks so I’ll drape them over it to finish. They’re about $15 bucks & great for all damp stuff, plus they are easy to store since they fold flat.
 Toss in a basket or drawer…no need to fold unless you want to pre-stuff your pockets. I’m lazy…I do that when I grab it to use it. Now that wasn’t not so hard was it. ;D