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Keeping up with the Joneses

I’m always game to try a new restaurant out, and even more so, when it’s kid friendly! So I’ve been wanting to try The Joneses out for a while now, but just haven’t had the opportunity. We ended up going for a drive on Saturday and I thought it was perfect to stop there with 2 of my 3 kiddos.

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There’s a place called The Treehouse Kids literally 5 steps away from the restaurant where your kids can play while you eat. So this sounds like a dream for any parent!

When you get there, the place sure doesn’t look kid friendly as I think the decor is quite elegant. I was worried my 1yr old would pull everything to the floor. We went to check out the play area first and signed the 2 boys in. Okay firstly, I am NOT a mom that leaves my kids anywhere. There are kiddie play places where you can drop them off, have them, tagged and collect them later. I cannot do that, so even 5 steps away, I found this to be incredibly hard, especially with my 1yr old. On top of that, he was left alone while the receptionist ate lunch. She said as soon as she was done with lunch, she’d be tailing him. I asked my 4yr old to just hang out with his brother until they could allocate somebody to watch him.

We chose a table on the deck with full view of the play house so I could see baby boy with every step that he took…and poor middle boy following him around while everybody else played. The receptionist did eventually start tailing him and I sent hubby to tell middle boy his babysitting duties were over (as he was still tailing him with adult supervision).

We ordered some drinks and tapas and within about 20 minutes a minder came with baby boy as he was not happy there. I was relieved actually.

Drinks were prompt and I found the menu to be very interesting. I loved the idea of tapas for R20 and R30 per plate, so I just chose 2 as I wasn’t super hungry. I also asked for a child seat/high chair and one was brought so my 1yr old could sit and eat and I didn’t have to worry about him running around.

I ordered the beef ravioli and the beef short rib. The beef short rib was really delicious! I could eat a whole plate. My husband had some sticky rice dish (will pass on this next time), chicken kebabs (yummy) and chicken wings (he enjoyed). My mother in law had a broth which she loved, the beef ravioli and pork ribs. She enjoyed all 3 her dishes.

So my negatives about the place:

  • I could be wrong, but when the place first opened, if you ate for R100 (example), your child could play for free, so I was a bit surprised that I had to pay for the boys to play. (This however is a positive and negative. – see below)
  • I wish I felt more at ease with my child being in their care. We were only 1 of 3 tables so it wasn’t busy, though there was a party winding up. There was a minder that was so involved and playing with a little girl, I was wishing my baby boy ended up with him and not somebody just trailing him. He’s 1, he needs some sort of guidance and interaction, but perhaps age 1 is too young for this sort of situation.
  • The place is lovely, but I’m honestly so scared that my 1yr old will destroy the lovely decor. There are stunning porcelain plant holders on a low ledge that I know my boy will push over if given the chance.
  • I wish the railing was a bit more protected. I worried that my son could fall through and into the pond.

Positives:

  • Paying for your child to play isn’t the end of the world if you consider that perhaps not 1000 kids will be playing there, because their parents don’t want to pay to play. So it may be quieter which I like.
  • There is a minder to watch your kids. I’m not saying I will make use of this option again for my 1yr old, but for slightly older kids (and my older kids), I think this is a great option.
  • The food was really nice. (We had a bit of a mix up where they gave me my mil’s pork instead of my beef, and I’m allergic/don’t touch pork with a 10 foot pole and I ended up taking a bite. An apology from the manager would have been nice, but I know to pay better attention in future. )
  • The menu really offers a lovely variety and suits every pocket I think.
  • The glass of wine was nice and full!! Full marks here….you know the sad situation when you get 1/3rd of a glass of wine. ha ha
  • The kiddies menu is really packed with options for the kids.

I’d definitely say try them out. They seem to have great holiday activities for the kids and the Treehouse also does parties. They’re situated in the Bloomingdales Nursery Centre in Walmer.

Have you ever been to The Joneses?

Cloth diapering…who does that? [Part 1]

*raises hand* Me….I do.

Uuhm….Let’s back up. Where’s the makeup talk today Simone? Well I always saw this blog as a place where I talk about my loves and passion. My children are my heart and soul….my passion… okay just not at 4:30am when baby boy thinks it’s Barney time. *sigh*  So I’m going to throw in a parenting/parenting related post once in a while and even just products to do with my kids. What I love, what I hate. You have no kids or you’re really not into kids (even your own…it happens)? Then just go find a post that does resonate with you. Perhaps my August favourites?

Okay, back to my story. When my middle child was still with the stork back in 2011, I had this idea to try and save the world by not using disposable nappies. The stories I read about disposables taking a gazillion years to never degrade, made me fear for our planet, the planet that my kids would be needing for years to come. So I went online, did some research, and I must say I was majorly overwhelmed! The start up costs seemed astronomical. A dry bucket for wet nappies? Huh? How do I clean them? Most importantly…what happens to the poop???? Yuck. As much as my heart was in it, my head could not fathom how this would be possible. I quit before I even began.

Fast forward 4 years and in 2015 baby boy is baking and by chance, an online friend starts adding me to every nappy group imaginable. I had no idea this world existed, that these people existed. My friend kindly sent me 3 or 4 free nappies as a starter….to just kind of allow me to dip my toes into the pool. I was still pregnant and had no baby to test these things on….BUT people, that first cute batch of nappies arrived and I was smitten. There was no stopping me! I trawled the online groups every day, looking for the best brands, how to wash them, how to store them… somehow it all came together and I started spending money to increase my stash. A lot of money. More money than I would have liked to spend. Shhhh….don’t tell my husband. What started out as ‘save the planet…save money’ quickly became a bit of an addiction for me.

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However, this post is not to get you addicted, but just to let you know that cloth diapering is not as overwhelming as it seems. It also does not need to be expensive. You can save a lot of money if you do not get consumed by the pretty must-have-imported-prints/brands/wahm (work at home mom) nappies. I am really passionate about using cloth nappies, and I really hope if you’re a mom to be one day, it’s something you’ll consider.

I want to do this post a bit backwards and address some concerns first and part 2 will deal with the various types of nappies :

Dirty diapers. I’ve taken it off the butt, what now?  A wee? Just chuck it into the bucket. A poop? If it’s more solid poop, just tip into the toilet and pop into the bucket. Runny poop, rinse under the outside tap and chuck into the bucket. Some people rinse the poop in the toilet using a sprayer (bidet?) that is apparently around R150 at most hardware stores, I however just use a tap.

There’s all this talks of a ‘dry bucket’. I literally chuck our napppies into my son’s baby bath that we no longer use. I find leaving it open is better otherwise the urine smell can become a bit pungent after being confined in there.  Before the bath, I used an old HTH bucket that we were no longer using. No special bucket was bought.

Cleaning the nappies are easy. I tend to wash my nappies every 2nd day, some people do it every 3rd day, some every day, totally upto you. On wash day, I throw all the nappies into the washing machine. I put it on a quick rinse cycle only. After it’s been rinsed, I add the washing powder (No fabric softener ever!), make sure the machine is nice and full (The nappies need to rub against items to get properly cleaned. It’s called agitation.) and I put it on the longest wash cycle on my machine. My longest cycle is 50 minutes. Some women wash them for like 2hrs. For me, not necessary. If I ever have a situation where my nappies are not smelling too fresh, I manually fill up buckets with hot water and throw it into my machine (I only have cold water connected to the machine) so they can have a nice warm water wash. That usually sorts out any smell issues.

Drying…hang them out on the washing line. The sun is your friend. I used to panic if I saw poop stains, but you’ll be amazed after being in the sun, the nappy would be as white as anything and stain free. Magic! The nappies can withstand low heat tumble drying, but I have no experience with that, so you’d have to get this info off one of the nappy groups.

Some things to NEVER do:

  1. Never soak your nappies for long periods of time. There’s a water proof layer that can become damaged from soaking (and excessive heat), called PUL. You never want to damage your PUL.
  2. Don’t use fabric softener on your nappies. Also make sure that your washing powder doesn’t contain softeners either. Ariel, Bio classic, Surf and Omo are all safe regular washing detergents used by most of us.
  3. Do not wash your nappies at a high temperature, nothing over 40 degrees, as this can damage your PUL (refer no.1).
  4. Don’t let your nappies lie in the dry bucket for days on end as I’m assuming you could develop mould issues. It’s never happened to me, but as I said, I wash every 2nd day.

The only problematic part for me with cloth diapering is if your baby develops thrush, then best to go over to disposables for that period and bleach strip your nappies to make sure to kill off all the thrush lurking in the nappy. If you don’t, baby could just become reinfected again. The bleach strip itself is not complicated, but there’s a right way to do it and you’d need to check the files in the nappy group on how to go about it.

So now you’ve seen that the actual nappy maintenance is really not too overwhelming. This may be something you are interested in, but where to start? What types of nappies? What are inserts? Boosters? We’ll cover all of that in the next post.

Have you cloth diapered before? Is it something you’d consider? Or not a chance in hell?