Saturday, October 25, 2014

From 3 to 4

What has changed for us now that we have 4 kids?

1. My mom is always right.

Don't tell my mom that. And maybe not always, but... yeah, my mom is always right. While I'm close to my mom anyways, I find myself calling her more and more to find out exactly what I should do, not get her advice and consider it, but, "Hey, Momma, what would you do? Tell me everything." My hubby isn't home for everything and I love having my mom by my side {even from a distance}.

2. Always looks on the bright side of life.

Life is busy and messy and, well, sometimes not fun at all. While every week is pretty much one thing after another, this week was one of those weeks where it was one.thing.after.another. I psyched the kids up for a day and a half to go to the pumpkin patch with our homeschool group...and then our van broke down and was out of commission for 2 days. Because I was sick last week, I had rescheduled everything to this week; I had to then re-reschedule everything to next week because of our van issues. Our cat was spayed-- sat in traffic to drop her off and pick her up, and then dealt with 4 kids at the vet to pick her up (that is about as much fun as it sounds). I had to take our baby to urgent care (he's fine) and his cold has kept me up for the past 5 nights, not to mention he's somehow managed to reintroduce a night feed we had previously dropped. My husband was dealing with a shift change through all of this at prototype. We ran over a nail after getting our van back from the shop and it took 3 hours at Costco to get it repaired; the kids screamed and fussed and fought the whole time we were there. My husband and one of our toddlers both dislocated a finger this week. Our other toddler had a speech therapy assessment and his stutter is worse than I thought and now I need to work a weekly speech appointment into our calendar. And we've been finding time for an hour and a half of homeschool each day through all this... Life is just messy. Being a Monty Python fan, I've had this song stuck in my head all week: 
"If life seems jolly rotten 
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing...
Always look on the bright side of life..."
Sometimes you just gotta look at the bright side of life.
3. Nothing will ever go as planned.
I'm not saying things went as planned before-- they didn't. But now it is a toss up. I take the kids to the park and one is throwing sand in his brother's face while another is climbing the play structure and another is crying -- or -- they all go and play happily -- or -- two of the boys play happily and two fuss and cry. Last night we planned on going to a fall festival. It became apparent about twenty minutes before we needed to leave that it just wasn't in the cards for us last night. We made the smart call and didn't push it-- better to have our plans fly out the window than have a super stressful time getting everyone dressed and ready to go only to come home to a messy house with hungry children.
4. Nothing will ever go as planned.
Yeah, it is on there twice just to really drive home the point that nothing ever goes as planned. Ten minutes before it is time to go out the door, the toddlers who were fully dressed are now naked and claiming they need to use the restroom, even though they already did. The baby poops and needs a diaper change. The dog needs to go out. The doorbell rings and wakes up my husband who needs to sleep due to shiftwork. The kitten goes missing. I mean, nothing ever goes as planned. I try-- and I often do-- get to places on time, but inevitably something happens. On the flip side,  I am constantly surprised and pleased with how well our boys handle various situations. We just did weeks of road tripping and visiting friends and family. Our boys did amazing! I was blown away by how well they did. It gave me so much confidence that we can handle traveling and this Navy life.
5. 4 isn't that different from 3...
We never had 2 kids, so I'm not sure how that goes. But I did have 3 kids. There was no strapping on the baby and following after the older sibling or my husband supervising one and me the other. There was no holding both my children's hands as we crossed the parking lot (2 kids, 2 hands). There was no standing near one on the playground and keeping an eye on the other. We jumped straight from have a "one and only" to zone defense. Managing 2 babies at the playground while our toddler played to watching 2 toddlers and keeping an eye on our preschooler to now having a kindergartner, 2 toddlers, and an infant. Thankfully now I have my Tula and am pretty good at keeping up. It is also nice that this time we have a baby and toddler twins {instead of toddler and infant twins like last time}, so I can wear the baby and hold our toddlers' hands; our oldest is very good about keeping close. Still playing zone defense though.
6. ..except for the times when it is very different.
Baby #4 is the best baby we've had. I totally relate to Horney Mom's blog post. But, yeah, there are times where the baby is crying to be fed, the toddlers are at each other's throats, our kindergartner fell off his bike, the dog is trying to sneak all the food off the table (and throw it up later)... Or the other day when one of our toddlers was stung by a bee while I was out shopping. I had to carry him back to the car while I held the other toddler's hand, baby #4 strapped in the Tula, my oldest keeping close and carrying all my purchases. Also, when my husband and I split up the kids, we view keeping 1 or 2 kids very differently than we used to. Now he says, "Yeah, I'll take our 6-year old and a 3-year old to the barber shop," when 4 years ago I can't imagine either of us thinking hair cuts would be a great time to spend a little individual time with 1 or 2 of the kids (or that staying home with 2 would be somewhat of a "break").
7. Different strokes for different folks.
You know what moms of 4 know? That every child is different and every time in your life is different and it is A-Okay to be different-- and not just doing things differently each time, but doing things differently than other families. What works for your family might not work for another family. What works with one baby might not work with the next. What came easy with one baby might not come easy with the next. Having identical twins also is a good lesson in that-- what works for one doesn't always work for the other. Husband underway? Take it easy. Rough night? Have cookies for breakfast. It's okay. We know that it all works out. Just because you are taking some shortcuts now (maybe even a lot of shortcuts) doesn't mean that you will later. Seasons of your life.
8. It really is just a phase.
Speaking of seasons of your life, we also know that it really is just a phase. Your toddler refuses to eat anything, like a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. He will eat again. Your baby is up all night. You will sleep again. Your 3-year old throws fits all the time. He won't behave that way forever. Doesn't always make the phases we are going through easier to manage, but it does help keep it in perspective. We've gone through those phases before, we know to expect them and have the foresight to anticipate their arrival, and then we have the patience to let them ride. I've found that because of this I'm able to enjoy myself a lot more with our boys-- even with our 6-year old who goes through each stage first. I've seen how quickly these rough infant and toddlers phases pass and it helps me focus on the good aspects of each phase instead of dwelling on the bad.
9. No mommy judgment.
I'm sure you've seen these types of blogs posted before: "10 Signs You're a Parent to 3 Kids" or "Things Moms of Four Kids Do." Yeah, if you've read those, you know we aren't judging you. If your kid walks into my legs as he's looking the other way at the mall, I honestly don't mind. No need to apologize when you interrupt my shopping trip to ask what kind of stroller or baby carrier I have. I've been there; I did my research when making baby purchases as well. Within reason, I understand when kids start getting too rough on the playground and I definitely understand temper tantrums. I've been there. We've done on demand schedules and strict schedules with our kids-- I get it. I get when you need to cancel last minute or when you are running late. I've had "those kinda days" as well. It happens. I have spent hours crying in the bathroom too. I have laughed at the ridiculous things my kids have said. I have been embarrassed, under prepared, caught off guard, tired, exhausted, deflated, over joyed, fulfilled, content, heart broken, irritated, and more by motherhood. I've held my baby for the first time and felt my heart run over. I've watched my baby labor to breathe. I've seen ultrasounds with no heartbeats. I've carried flailing children out of stores and restaurants. I've walked stolen merchandise back into shops. I've repeated myself all day every day and still felt like I wasn't heard. I've prayed from early in the morning to late at night and still felt like I wasn't enough or couldn't do it. So I get it. When you want to talk to me about how your one baby isn't napping or how hard you have it with your two children, and then apologize because "I must think you are ridiculous," I don't. I understand. I'm looking to make the same "mommy connections" as you. I want friends just as bad as you do and I too want to be supported and feel like someone else "gets it."
10. Let it slide.
While I'm sure we still make our lives more complicated than they need to be, we do have the experience to let some things go. We don't force toddlers to eat when it is pointless and we have the benefit of not stressing about it either. We don't get our panties in a knot over every cold. We expect a certain level of craziness everywhere we go, so toddlers banging spoons on tables or the occasional drink spilling doesn't stress us out. We put far more emphasis on growing independence than doing it perfect, such as having children dress themselves and actively participate in household chores. We've {somewhat} learned that some behaviors are far better to ride out until they go away on their own instead of fussing and fighting over them. I've also found that when I'm talking to my mom about a discipline issue that I'm struggling with and she says, "Oh, it will work out," I'm able to let it go. My mom always tells me to pick my battles and we're finding that we are better able to decipher which battles are worth picking and which battles are just a massive waste of energy for us.
All our babies
How have things changed for you the more children you've had? Do you have 4 kids? What would you add to this list?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cloth diapering an infant {BumGenius Elementals and Freetimes}

I need a break from housecleaning, so blogging it is. :) We have officially switched from covers and prefolds with baby #4 to our BumGenius Elementals and Freetimes. I decided to stick to all-in-one cloth diapers. Without getting in to a world of details, there are a lot of ways that you can cloth diaper. The most popular way is a pocket style diaper where you stuff a pocket inside a cover with absorbent inserts, such as the BumGenius 4.0. There are also systems like the Grovia Hybrids or Flip covers and inserts.... It just all felt like a lot. I have heard great things about those systems and people love them. I just really love the idea of all-in-ones; they work just like disposables.

While we do own 2 Freetime diapers, we mainly use Elementals. For our 4-month old, we have 9 Elemental diapers (11 diapers total and I'm going to buy Stellar and Jolly when they are released in December... only because I love their colors-- haha!). For nights we are still using Thirsties fitted diapers (now in size 2) and a Flip cover. I have 2 Thirsties fitted diapers and 1 Flip cover.

BumGenius Elementals

So what does an Elemental diaper look like? This is BumGenius's Elemental print Martin. The Elemental diaper has 2 layers of organic cotton attached inside a Flip cover. There is no stuffing in inserts or putting a cover over type. It is an all-in-one system and basically works like a disposable-- you take the whole thing off for each change (as compared to covers and prefolds). I love organic cotton. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is so absorbent and I've had no issues with it on baby #4's skin. These are my favorite diapers. Why do I own Freetimes? Because Elemental diapers take a lot longer to hang dry-- almost a day and a half if you do not put them in the dryer at all. I usually let them do one run in the dryer so they come out damp, then I let them hang dry in the sun. This cuts down the drying time to about half a day.

BumGenius Freetimes
What does a Freetime diaper look like? This is BumGenius's Freetime print Sassy. The Freetime diaper has attached inserts that you fold over each other to put on the diaper; it doesn't matter which one you put down first-- works the same either way. The Freetimes are also an all-in-one system-- no stuffing of inserts, no putting on covers. They also work a lot like disposables-- you change the whole diaper at each diaper change.

The top of the insert is a sueded material that pulls moisture down towards the microfiber underneath the insert. Because of these microfiber inserts, the diaper dries super fast after washing. If I take it out of the washer in the morning, it will be dry by the afternoon without any time in the dryer. I keep 2 Freetimes because of how quickly they dry. I don't want to get stuck without diapers!!!
On the outside, the Elemental and the Freetime looks a lot the same. Another reason why I favor Elementals over Freetimes is that they do not have a "fluffy butt" like Freetimes do, especially on our 4-month old. I feel like it might be less "fluffy" when he gets older, but, for now, Elementals are a much trimmer fit.
Adjustable size
BumGenius advertises on their diapers that they work from 7 to 35 lbs. They have a fancy snap system on the front to adjust to your baby's size. The gal at my favorite local store said that covers and prefolds work a little better for the newborn stage, that these are a little bulky for the newborn babies. After comparing covers and prefolds with the all-in-ones, I agree.
{Check out my blog post: "Week 2 of cloth-diapering a newborn."}
The snaps on the front of the Elementals and Freetimes are the same. This is how I snap up the diapers for our 15-pound 4-month old. These are the snaps that I snap up to adjust the diaper to his size. Once I have them snapped, I do not unsnap them for washing or anything. They stay snapped, so this is a one-time thing-- no complicated snapping at each diaper change.
I snap the very bottom snap up to the top snap to make it smaller to fit him and do the same all along the row. This is the diaper with the first snap snapped up....
...the second snap snapped up...
...and the third snap snapped up.
And that is how I adjust each new diaper that I buy for baby #4. As I said, I only do this once. The diaper stays snapped up for the washing and wearing. To fasten the diaper on our baby, our baby doesn't need the flaps brought all the way across. I leave 2 snaps in the middle. I love how adjustable the diaper is to the baby's size making a personal, no-leak fit. This is a picture of how I snap the diaper to fit our baby during wear.
Diapering an Elemental
Now that we have gone over the differences between Elemental and Freetime all-in-ones, I'll show you why I love all-in-one diapers. They are so easy to change and work essentially like a disposable diaper. Starting with the Elemental {my favorite}, I lay the diaper on the changing table, the side with the closure snaps goes in the back.
I bring the front of the diaper up and snap one side close. I count up 4 snaps on each side.
I snap the other side closed, counting 4 snaps on this side too. This leaves 2 snaps in the middle, just like I pictured above, which is how the diaper best fits our baby.
Just like with other cloth diapers, it is important that the inserts are tucked into the cover. Since the insert is what absorbs all the moisture, if it is poking out, it will saturate baby's clothing.
I just do a check to make sure the inserts are all tucked in. Rarely does an insert poke out when I put on the diaper-- they are very easy to put on-- but I like to check to make sure.
I am still using the exact same wipe system as I did with covers and prefolds-- cloth wipes at home and disposable wipes out of the house. To see pictures of how I use our wipes, check out my blog post "Week 2 of cloth-diapering a newborn." To change the Elemental diaper, I change as usual then throw the entire soiled diaper and cloth wipes in the diaper pail.
Diapering a Freetime
To put a Freetime diaper on, I fold the inserts into the diaper as pictured above {where I show what a Freetime diaper looks like}. It does not matter which insert is on top or bottom when you fold them into the diaper. I lay the diaper on the changing table with the snaps in the back.
I fold the front of the front of the diaper up...
...count 4 snaps on one side and snap closed...
...then count 4 snaps on the other side and snap closed. This leaves 2 snaps in the middle which is how the diaper best fits our baby. Just like with the other diapers, it is important to check and make sure the inserts are all tucked inside the diaper.
To change the diaper, I throw the entire soiled diaper in the diaper pail.
Baby #4 is still exclusively breastfed. As I talked about in "Cloth diapering a newborn {logistics}," breastmilk stool is water soluble. I throw the entire soiled diaper in our diaper pail without rinsing. This brings me to my next topic: laundry.
Laundry: washing Elementals and Freetimes
I wash our diapers first thing in the morning, right after I change his night diaper. I know many people that wash their diapers at the end of the day, but, for us, it works best to do our diaper load first thing in the morning. That way, right after breakfast, the diapers have washed and I can hang them to dry. When I change our baby, I throw his clothing laundry into our diaper pail as well. I wash our Planet Wise pail liner roughly every other day or as needed.
I put the contents of our diaper pail in the washer and run a rinse cycle. After that cycle has run, if the load is sparse, I throw in our toddlers' clothes hamper contents as well. Then I wash the diapers on heavy duty, which is a hot cycle, with our cloth diaper detergent.
I have heard that detergents leave a build up in your washer and can affect absorbency for cloth diapering. I do use a cloth diaper detergent when washing a load of diapers. For our regular household laundry sans diapers, I use our homemade laundry detergent. I have read conflicting information as to whether Borax is cloth diaper safe or not. However, because of the other ingredients, I do not worry about this detergent building up in our washer and affecting the absorbency of our cloth diapers.
Side note: If you read my blog post "Homemade household cleaners," you know that we have switched to all homemade and biodegradable household cleaners. The cloth diaper detergent is the only household cleaner that I buy. Since bleach is not biodegradable, I have not used it on my diapers yet. I know that we have only recently switched to Elementals and Freetimes and that baby #4 is only 4-months old and exclusively breastfed... I'm not sure if/when or why I would pour bleach in with our diapers. I figure if we start having problems with absorbency {or maybe bleach is for a smell in the cloth diapers?} I'll start troubleshooting our wash routine. For now, I make sure to give our diapers a lot of sun time to kill any bacteria that may be on the diapers which hasn't been a problem for us here in South Carolina-- lots of sunshine!
BumGenius prints on their tag that Elemental diapers are safe to go in the dryer. I'm a little skeptical on drying the all-in-ones, but for the sake of expediency, I do throw the entire load into the dryer, pulling out the Freetimes. I run the Elementals in the dryer once. The rest of the load dries fine, but the Elementals are never dry after one pass through the dryer. With them slightly damp, I hang them on our drying rack.
This is how I hang dry our Freetimes. This way...
...or this way.
This is how I hang dry our Elementals.
As breastfeeding mommas know, breastmilk stool stains. I like to sun bleach our diapers on sunny days regardless of whether they are stained or not {kills any bacteria on the diapers}. If I have a stained diaper, I position it so it can absorb the most rays possible. Every breastmilk stool stain that I've had on our Elemental diapers has come out with just a few good hours in the sun.
Laundry: prepping Elementals and Freetimes
While we are on the subject of laundry, I'll discuss prepping the diapers. Prepping the Thirsties fitted diapers, the Flip covers, and the Freetimes is easy-- wash once. I just throw the new diapers in with a load of our regular household laundry. Prepping the Elemental diapers is a little different because their inserts are made with organic cotton. When you wash the organic cotton, it will release its natural oils. If these oils get on your other synthetic diaper fabrics, like microfiber, they will make them unabsorbent-- not cool for a diaper. I wash our Elemental diapers 5-7 times before wear. If I only wash the diaper 5 times before I put it on our baby, I make sure to change that diaper about an hour after he's worn it. Organic cotton becomes more absorbent the more it is washed. Before the diaper has been washed 7 times on high heat, I make sure to wash it separately from our Thirsties fitted diaper and our Freetimes. Since we have 6 people in our house, finding loads of laundry isn't a challenge for us. I keep the new diaper in the laundry room and throw it in when I do a load of laundry for our boys or when I'm washing a load of diapers without any of the aforementioned types. After I have washed an Elemental diaper 7 times, I throw all our diapers-- Elementals, Freetimes, Thirsties fitted, and Flip covers-- in our diaper pail after changing and wash them all together as I described previously. I cannot emphasize enough how much more absorbent organic cotton is than other types of materials. I love it. Since I don't know the science behind why organic cotton is that much more absorbent, it stands as a magical mystery to me.
Our night diaper routine is exactly the same as described in "Cloth diapering a newborn {logistics}." I have pictures in that blog post of the Thirsties fitted diaper and the Flip cover. The only difference now is that we have a Thirsties size 2 fitted diaper instead of a size 1.
Out and about with cloth diapers
In "Week 2 of cloth-diapering a newborn," I discuss getting out of the house with cloth diapers. The only difference to that routine is that now I make sure I have 2 clean all-in-ones with me for normal excursions with the kids. If I'm going to be out of the house for a longer amount of time, I might pack 3. I also like to put baby #4 in a fresh diaper before we leave the house.
Available prints
And now for an adorable cloth diaper picture. :)
Baby #4 in Marie
Here are the prints available in Elementals, Freetimes, and Flip covers. My favorites are Hummingbird, Sassy, and Martin. Our boys always pick out Spence {aka "pirate booty"} for baby #4, which we have in Elemental and Freetime. For some of the older out of stock prints, like the Chelsea Perry Artist Prints or Jules, check out Facebook BumGenius buy/sell/trade pages.
To view all my posts on cloth diapering baby #4, check out my Popular Posts tab and scroll down to "Kimber's Posts on Cloth Diapering."
Do you cloth diaper? What would you add to this post? I love to hear from you!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Flexible homeschooling

I follow a Facebook page called Simple Homeschool. One of the things that I love about their page is their reoccurring Facebook statuses answering the question, "How has #homeschooling changed your family's life for the better?" Their followers submit their answers and Simple Homeschool features one of the answers. I love reading all the reasons why people love homeschooling. I love reading about how people's lives have changed for the better because they homeschool and feeling encouraged by their answers, especially the answers I relate too.

We recently took a long trip-- a little over 3 weeks away from the house. We spent a week at the beach with my parents then drove from the beach to my parents' house. While at my parents' house, I drove from there to a friend's house and then back to my parents' house. Then I finally made the trek from my parents' house back to our house. We did a lot of outings while visiting all these different places, saw a lot of cool things, and saw a lot of familiar (and dearly missed) friends and family. It was so refreshing to mix things up, have a change of scenery, and spend quality time with people we love.

While away, I frequently was grateful we are homeschooling. There were many moments where I said, "I am so glad we homeschool!" to my friends and family. I loved that trip. I loved that we could spend almost a month traveling in the middle of the school year and that school traveled with us. When I left my parents' house to go visit my friends, I did school over the weekend so we could take the first couple days of the week off. Homeschooling is so flexible. Being a military family (a submariner's wife, nonetheless), flexibility is key. My confidence in our decision to homeschool was most definitely boosted on this trip. I felt that we would have the freedom to travel when my husband gets back on a submarine in the next couple months and that we would also be able to adapt our school schedule to my husband's schedule, guaranteeing we get that family time we need.

After the long trip away, I drove home with the boys on a Sunday. Monday morning I woke up feeling horrible. I completely lost my voice due to a wretched cold. I realized pretty quick that I wouldn't be able to do school without a voice. I decided to take the days off that I was sick. It wasn't until today that my voice came back along with (most of) my energy. Because I was taking it pretty easy this week and putting a lot of things off, we were totally off schedule all day. By early afternoon, it was apparent that school was not going to happen today-- so I didn't make it. I decided that we would finish out the week in our "unschooling" style and resume structured homeschool on Monday when we've had time to get back on schedule after the trip and my cold. How awesome is that? No tears, no fuss, just doing what works best for us. If you have ever forced more than one child out the door in the morning to get somewhere on time when you don't feel well, you will know how amazing it is to avoid all that.

With each passing day of homeschooling, I enjoy it more and more. I enjoy the time we spend learning together. I look forward to doing kindergarten with my oldest and that time of day we have together. I enjoy how excited our preschoolers are to do "school" (they do not have any structured school yet, but they love pulling out notebooks and pretending to do what our oldest is doing). It has been a blessing for our family. I became even more aware of what a blessing it is after this trip.

Why do you love homeschooling?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cloth diapering a newborn {logistics}

Baby #4 is now 2 and a half months old. We've been cloth diapering him since he was 1 or 2 weeks old and it has been going great! I posted when we had been cloth diapering him for 2 weeks and we've made a few changes to our regime. We are still using covers and prefolds, but we had to change our overnight solution and adjust our prefold fold. We also dealt with our first "diaper rash."

The biggest change has been dealing with overnights. Baby #4 has been an excellent sleeper. I feed him around 9-10 pm and he routinely sleeps until 3-4 am. He has even done a few all nighters, eating at 9-10 pm and going all the way to 5:30-6:30 am. This has been great for me, but not the best for just a cover and prefold! We switched him to a Thirsties Fitted Diaper Size 1 and our same Thirsties Size 1 covers. Again, this worked well for a couple nights until every single morning he was leaking out of the same spot on the front of his diaper, no matter how carefully we adjusted the cover over the fitted diaper. I talked to the gal at our local baby store and she recommended that we switch to a larger size cover, like the one size Flip cover. The Flip cover is larger than our Thirsties Size 1. It has snaps on the front to adjust the size, just like all our other snap covers, and so it easily fit him. It did the trick! Now we have no leaking issues at night.
This is what a Thristies Fitted Size 1 diaper looks like. The entire diaper is absorbent, which is ideal for night. You must put a cover over a fitted diaper.


We use a Flip cover over our Thristies Fitted diaper. Just like with a prefold and cover, you need to make sure that the entire fitted diaper is covered by the cover or it will leak. We have really liked this solution for night. Baby #4 tends to wet more after his first feed in the morning, not during the night or at his night feed, so I usually change his diaper at the 9-10 pm feeding and after his first morning feed at 5:30-6:30 am, even if I feed him in the night at 3-4 am. When I've changed him at the middle of the night feed, his diaper was dry. In the mornings, I put him in a cover and prefold after his first feed and then change him about an hour later because that is when he wets the most.

The one size Flip cover is much larger than the Thirsties size 1 cover. We only have one Flip cover right now. The Thirsties size 1 covers have still worked great for us during the day with the prefolds.

 Daytime {Covers and Prefolds}

We haven't had issues with leakage at all during the day... until the poop blowouts. It started becoming a problem around 8 weeks that he would leak slightly in the leg holes after he pooped. So we adjusted the fold of our diaper and it has worked perfectly for us. I know that people use the Snappies for a traditional cloth diaper fold, but I didn't buy the Snappies and so we modified our fold. Now, with this fold he does not leak out of his cover when he poops. However, he does tend to get his cover dirty when he poops, meaning we change the cover. Everything is contained inside the Thirsties diaper cover, we just need to change the cover.
With prefolds and covers, you usually just change the prefold when you go to change the diaper. With this fold, we only change the prefold when the diaper is just wet; when he poops, we sometimes have to change the prefold and the cover. This fold has been working for us just great and this hasn't been a problem. We use 2-3 covers during the day and we have no leak issues.
We don't do anything crazy or fancy with this fold. All we do is fan the back and bring the prefold to a point in the front, like so.
We then fold the front over so it is more absorbent where he needs it to be.
Bring the prefold up.
We cover the prefold with the Thirsties size 1 cover, which is still working great for us during the day.

Now that baby #4 is 2 and a half months old and 12 lbs 14 oz, we like to make sure we snap the wings down on the side of our cover. It helps keep everything in place.
And then we snap the cover on the front! Finished! :) It really isn't that different than how we started. The fanning in the back has helped with the blowouts though.

Diaper Rash
So baby #4 has not had diaper rash like how you think: open sores, welt looking areas, etc. Because we use organic cotton prefolds, the moisture is not wicked away from his skin. During the day, we change his diaper every 1-3 hours. The night diaper is microfiber and wicks the moisture away (plus he doesn't wet much at night), so we haven't had issues then. It has just been during the day that we've noticed him having some issues. I talked to the gal at our local baby store and she recommended fleece inserts. I wondered how well this would work, but, I'm telling you, it is fleece magic. Whenever we notice his diaper area getting red or rosey, we throw a fleece insert into his diaper to help wick that moisture away from his skin and the next diaper change he is back to normal!
This is what the fleece insert looks like. I fold it in half before putting it on him.

We just lay the fleece insert over his diaper area.
Diaper as usual.
Good to go! For good measure, we usually stick a fleece insert in his overnight diaper just to make sure that the moisture is extra wicked away from his skin at night, though the microfiber really pulls it away.

The first response I hear when people ask me about cloth diapering is: "What about all the laundry?" I said it in my last blog post too, but I haven't had issues with the laundry. Since that post, I have made some adjustments to our laundry routine.
I like to do our diaper laundry first thing in the morning. The fitted diapers are usually dry by the time we need to diaper baby #4 for overnights (if they aren't dry by 7 pm, I do toss them in the dryer on low while we bathe his brothers just to be sure they will be completely dry by 9 pm). I was rinsing the diapers with our diaper sprayer before throwing them in the wet pail. Then I had a conversation with the gal at our local baby store. She said breastmilk poop is water soluble, so she does a rinse cycle in her washer before the wash cycle. Now I throw the soiled diaper in our wet pail after changing baby #4. I empty the wet pail in our washer every morning after the morning feed and put the washer on rinse/soak. After the diapers rinse, I wash them on hot with our cloth diaper detergent.
I can't seem to find a straight answer on cloth diaper detergents. It seems some people think that having to use a special cloth diaper detergent is baloney. Other people think the regular laundry detergent is best, like original Tide or original Gain. I don't know. I make our laundry detergent, but I have found mixed reviews on using Borax on cloth diapers. I'm nervous about ruining all our cloth diapers, so I haven't braved washing them in it yet. For now, I use Babyganics laundry detergent on our cloth diapers. After washing the diapers, I then hang everything to dry. Since it is usually a smaller load (especially for our house), I'll hang everything-- the wipes, diapers, covers, fitted diaper... hang it all. I put this outside in the sun to dry most days. On rainy days or when we are out of the house, I leave it in the laundry room (don't want my covers and wipes to blow away!). The sun has also been great for sun bleaching out the breastmilk poop stains on the covers, prefolds, and wipes.
Do you have any great cloth diapering tips?