Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ode to hair

Dorothy-1985
Finally done with Dorothy-1987
I enjoy doing different things with my hair.  Perhaps it stems from when I was little and I was banished to the "Dorothy Hamill" haircut far longer than it was popular.  And at the same time my sister's hair was down to her behind.


Hello perm -1992




Stayed curly for a long time-1996
My motto is "It's just hair" and it will grow back.  So I have ventured into some crazy styles over the years.  But recently I tried to grow it out.  And the stars aligned and said it wouldn't be so.  And today, I finally got a funky cut back.  So here is an ode in pictures to the past and present hair cuts I have adorned.


Chopped and straight- 1998
The natural curls-bet you didn't know that-the one time I grew it out- 2001
Rocco's Hair Competition 2007.
Rocco's Hair Competition 2007.

Mexico - 2008 (13 weeks pregnant with Munchkin) 


Mother's Day, 2011.

Tonight-sorry-pic with webcam.  Short once again!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bumpy roads

The joys of living in the midwest, where the weather can go from 40's to 90's in 48 hours (which happened this weekend), is with every spring comes potholes.  And I have to laugh when I see the same potholes show up year after year.

At least it's not this bad...yet.
I mean - the exact same pothole.  The Target near us was built 3.5 years ago, which mean 3 freeze/thaws.  And each spring there has been 2 very large potholes on the road that runs in front of the parking lot.  These potholes are about 4ft by 8 ft.  So the last two years, the city approach has been to let them get really bad first.  Then fill them with gravel.  And then a month later throw same pavement over them.  Well -maybe they actually cut a big rectangle out first, but just then pave over it.

And this year - I waited to see if the holes would appear.  And slowly but surely they did.  Well one has.  The other one seems to finally have been fixed.  But the one that reappered - well now it is two separated by about 4 feet.

And I wonder when the city will fix it.  I mean really fix it.  You know - so it actually stops showing up every year.  At some point, the cost effectiveness of just throwing tar over it every year will have to be out weighed by doing whatever they need to do to stop the problem.  And considering that it has multiplied this year, it is probably worth fixing.  The right way.

Or I may just have another spring of watching the flowers potholes bloom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to make your own baby food:)

Well yesterday's post (home cooking baby food) got some people asking about how I exactly I made the food.  So today's is more the nitty gritty of how I made the food.

With the munchkin - I started with fruit.  That may have been a poor choice.  She hated vegetables after trying the sweet stuff first, and still dislikes veggies.  So I did the opposite with the tank.  And he clearly loves everything.  Except maybe avocado (of all the foods- this is the one he dislikes??).

I have made the following:
sweet potatoes          corn                                fruit medley
squash                      vegetable medley            mango
peas                          peaches                           pears
green beans              apples                             probably some more that I can't remember
carrots                      blueberries                      edamame (on the list for tomorrow)
avocado                   bananas                           all sorts of combos of the above

But they are all similar.
For everything but banana and avocado -you need to cook it first (at least when using them as the puree form).
For the veggies:
1.  Chop up everything into smaller pieces to cook faster as needed.
2. Boil everything until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Drain everything (I think it's carrots that you aren't supposed to use the cooking water, but I can't remember which veggie it is so to make life simple I just drain all of them.)
4. I use an  immersion blender to puree all the foods (love, love, love mine - we make soups all the time and this is truly the easiest way to do that).  You could use a food processor or blender instead.
5. I puree each veggie until the right texture - you will need water or juice to do this.  When I started, I used just water.  And after introducing some of the fruits, I will just use applesauce or fruit juice to get it thinned out.  You can't use breastmilk that has already been frozen, but could use fresh milk and then freeze it.
6. I pour the pureed foods into ice cube trays, then once frozen put them into a labelled zip lock bag.
7. To give you an idea on quantity - 1 med sweet potato pureed to thick consistency made about 1.5 trays, thin consistency probably 2-3 trays!
1 bag peas- 1.5 trays
1 squash - 3+ trays.

For the fruits:
1. I just toss the whole bag of frozen fruit into a pot and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. Then puree as above.
3. I pay no attention to all the crazy web sites about what foods to introduce and when.  I just do one at at a time.  For instance- the fruit medley has strawberries, grapes, melon, peaches, and something else.  Some people say don't do strawberries until 1 year of age.  This is actually one of tank's favorites!  And the American Academy of Pediatrics finally said there is no recommendation because we have no idea what causes allergies and it probably has nothing to do with when you introduce the foods.  My personal opinion is the sooner the better.  Less mature immune system usually means less likely to reject (organ transplants done before age 1 usually do well even if not an exact match because of this!)
Quantity
1 bag frozen peaches - not quite a full tray (seems like it should make more!)
I use unsweetened pure applesauce and just puree it some to make the apples - tons and tons!

This is why feeding Munchkin was so difficult!
4-6 bananas with some source of liquid (water, prune juice, applesauce) - 1-2 trays (brown bananas work way better - or frozen and then thawed as you don't have to cook them first.)

Blueberries- whole bag made just that small glass dish above.  I ended up just mixing some in with applesauce.

For foods that have thick skins - blueberries/peas/etc - once pureed I push the foods through a strainer to get rid of the big chunks.  Now that tank is older, I wouldn't try as hard to do this.  But the first go of it, I really mashed everything through a fine strainer - kind of a pain.

Hope that helps!  If you have questions, let me know!  This week I may try broccoli, eggplant, and adding spices!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home cooking baby food

This was from a previous batch.
When the munchkin was little, I made some baby food for her.  She wasn't a fan.  Eating even at that age just wanted something she really wanted to do.  So I think I made one batch of food, and that was it.  And I don't think she ever ate it all.

But the tank is a different story.  He loves to eat.  And I love making baby food.  It is so easy and quick.  And when the person you are cooking for really loves it, all the more rewarding.

So last night I quick made up a batch (this would be the third time in just over a month).  I usually make about 5-6 ice cube trays at a time.  Last night I just used whatever I had on hand.  Bananas with applesauce,  bananas with prune juice, sweet
poooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (that's what happens if you are typing when the batteries in your keyboard die) potatoes mixed with applesauce, and then for fun I chopped up some pasta and mixed it in.

But the thing he loved the most is shown in this picture.  He is teething something awful right now.  So I gave this a try.

From a vegetarian* momma.

He was in heaven.








And because she was sweet and asked me to take her picture, which she usually refuses, here is a just for fun pic of the munchkin.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

China's one child rule

So I learned quite a bit about China's one child rule while in Hong Kong.  As mentioned before (HK observations) HK was a British territory and now is a republic of China.

I am not trying to be insensitive or trying to start chaos here, but just will express the views of some HK people I met.

I had the opportunity to meet with a HK neonatologist who (or is it whom) has a lot of authority and is quite vocal in the local media.  He gave us his opinions on the one child rule and how it impacts HK.

The rule was started to control China's population, which apparently it really hasn't done too well.  People that want more than one child just go elsewhere to have the baby.  But have to hide the pregnancy while in China.  And they place they are flocking to - HK.  HK births went from 8,000/year to 80,000 year in just 3 or 4 years.  And they don't have the infrastructure to deal with the influx.  There are only 100 NICU beds in all of HK.  And if about 10% of the population is born preterm - that means about 8,000 admissions to those 100 NICU beds each year.  Yeah - crazy.  They also don't have the OB staff to deal with all the deliveries.  For the right price- Chinese can deliver in the HK private hospitals as long as they can document establishing care before 23 weeks (or something like that) - which means just 1 visit to OB.  Then they can deliver in HK.  So apparently the better care is at the public hospitals which aren't as crowded.

And the reason why HK?  So the babies can be HK citizens instead of Chinese.  And have a HK passport (we were told this numerous times).  Chinese people need visas to travel almost anywhere.  But because HK was British- means they can go to numerous places with just a passport (like all of Europe and US) instead of a visa.  And the kids get free health care and education until age 18.  But the Chinese parents won't have to pay HK taxes or anything else.

And if you have a second child in China?  The penalty is 6x your annual income.  And goes up from there if you have a third or fourth child.  And if you work for the government - you lose your job.

And then I came back to the land of tons of babies.  Where some early 20 year olds already have 5 kids.
Hmmm.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hong Kong Observations #1

Last week was my first time to Asia.  I have a feeling that Hong Kong is a bit different than much of Asia, but I thought I would share some of my observations.

People everywhere!
There are ~7 million people in Hong Kong.  HK is made up of 3 major islands.  The population density is about 16,500 people/square mile (US is 80/sqaure mile).  It was crazy seeing so many people.  Granted I was in the very dense area (I think about 1/2 of Hong Kong is park area, so the density that you see is even greater.)  

The weird thing about HK is that it was a British territory until about a decade ago when it was given back to China.  So there are lots of British influences - driving on the left side vs right in China is one.  Street signs are in English and Chinese, which helped a ton.  When you walk down the street, amongst the millions of others, no one really seemed to know which side to walk on to pass.  I asked someone about this and there is no accepted walking pattern.

Star Ferry crossing between two of the islands.
So you can imagine the chaos of a million people walking down the sidewalk and not sticking to one side or the walk.  It was nuts!

But the people are unbelievably nice.  And many speak English.  And the service was unbelievable everywhere we went.  The people that work on the ferry wore old school sailor outfits.  And the waiters at the nice restaurants all wore Chinese styled black dress coats.  And despite that millions of people, there was no trash on the streets.  Everything was as clean as could be - but tons of smog and just general grime because of the masses.

But I was so glad to get off the plane in MSP and see trees and grass again.  And I know which side of the sidewalk to pass people on.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Flying half way across the world

So my trip to Hong Kong went well.  I was so anxious about flying that far.  We flew from the MSP to Tokyo and then on to Hong Kong.  The long leg was just over 12 hours, but for some reason I thought it was 16.  I had this horrible fear of running out of food on the plane.  And having an anxiety attack.  Not sure why I had those fears.  Part of the food thing is it looked they were only going to serve dinner.  And I don't eat meat.  Which can always be a hit or miss thing on planes.  I requested a vegetarian option ahead of time.  But I have done that before and been served something completely unrecognized.  Even a flight attendant had to apologize once because the tray looked so horrific.

I flew Delta- and was surprised by how good the food was on the way there.  And we were served meals every 3 hours.

But the one thing I can't figure out- why airlines think "vegetarian" means no chocolate - even when I specified that dairy was ok.  So everyone else got brownies, hershey bars, and other chocolates.  I got fruit. And crackers with a slice of cheddar cheese.  Seriously - have you ever seen me and sweets.  And do you remember reading this about my love for chocolate.

So I had packed a whole bag of food and didn't really need it other than the chocolate.

And I slept for half of the flight.

So all was well in the end.  Minus the chocolate thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oh the things kids say...

So here is our dinner conversation -yes all of this occurred in one sitting at the table.  I couldn't make this stuff up.
Munchkin "Daddy-  how did you and mommy make the flowers?"
Husband "What flowers?"
M: "How did you make the flowers and baskets and hookers?" (basket planters hanging from hook on deck.)

M: "My butt hurts, I need to go potty."
Proceeds to go potty and wants me to sit with her.  We started talking about that it will be husband's birthday in a few weeks.
M: "Daddy, come in here.  I'm making you a brown a cake."  (He had no idea that we were talking about his birthday.)

Return to the dinner table.
FGW (me): "M - tell Daddy what we were talking about."
M: "Daddy it's going to be your birthday in a few weeks.  And I'm going to make you a cake."
H: "How old I am going to be?"
M: long pause and then a little smirk "Oooolllllllldddddd."

And that was my welcome back from Hong Kong.
Hilarious.  Who needs to go to a comedy show when you have three year olds.

And the munchkin had her first dance recital while I was away.  She was adorable.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

There will be a short hiatus of the blog.  I'm flying to Hong Kong tomorrow.  For work.  But my work will consist of 1.5 hours total.  And then that leaves 3 days of nothing.

I don't mind flying.  I usually just sleep the whole flight.  Well until we had kids that we brought with on the plane.  There is no sleeping then.  I get a wee bit anxious for every takeoff.  My goal is to fall asleep before we takeoff so I only wake once we are way up in the sky.  I blame it on the Challenger explosion.  Something seems more risky about the takeoff.  But tomorrow's flight is a total of 20 hours.  Most of that across the ocean.  Now that is making me nervous.  I may or may not have gotten something from a doctor to combat those nerves.

It's not like if a plane was going to crash over land that I would have a better chance of surviving - probably the opposite.  But flying over water for half a day is a bit eery.  If we were to crash, then we could be stranded in the middle of the ocean.  Or maybe end up on a random island like Lost.  But in the end, I am sure it will be fine.  The bigger issue will be dealing with massive jet lag - fly for 20 hours and then end up in a time zone that is 13 hours ahead.  And the presentation is at 1 pm.  So we will see how lucid I am for that.

By the time I return, I may not have any idea what day or time it is.   The end result- likely a very funny post.  Until then...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I fully support helmets

So I mentioned the tank's helmet back here Fun with Helmets.  This past week, the tank got the helmet off. When he first got it on, there was this huge knob over the back left corner.  That is what had me the most nervous.  I thought that if it didn't get better on its own, a real helmet wouldn't actually protect his noggin.  So we opted for the helmet.  His head shape was off enough to warrant it - not just us wanting it.

But to prove the results, I thought I would show you these scans.  If you ever wanted to know whether a helmet was worth it, I think this truly illustrates the benefits!
Before the helmet
After the helmet




































And here is the scanner shape that does all the measurement.


pastedGraphic.pdf
Red line is before and blue is after.


So still not perfect, but that wasn't our goal.  And someday it will be warm again.  Maybe.  And I would rather not have the tank overheat because of the helmet.  But if we had to, we would do it again.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It ain't easy being green

It wasn't just Kermit the frog that had a hard time being green.  It's hard for most people to be green.  Our society doesn't encourage the population to be green or eco-friendly.  Instead, it supports the convienence store life style.  What can I buy that is quick and easy?  What can I use that makes my life easier and with less "clean up"?

Those are the questions that are being answered by mass producers of stuff.  We have prepackaged dinners, individually wrapped string cheese/granola bars/cookies.  Snack pack sizes of any munchie ever known to man kind.  We have disposable diapers, paper napkins, styrofoam take out boxes.

And most of us live in communities where we pay a monthly fee for garbage service instead of a weight-based or volume-based service.  The latter types usually decrease the garbage waste by 10% or more.  And for people that use disposable diapers, you know how many bags of trash you generate each week by throwing out all those diapers.
Now translate that to a hospital.  I wonder what would happen if hospitals and businesses had to start paying by volume or weight of trash generated.  Would that finally get them to move towards utilizing non-disposable or single-use only items?  Our hospital uses "reusable containers" to gather specific items.  I think that is a misleading term-I thought it meant the items in those containers were being recycled.  Nope - just meant the containers themselves were reusable.  The objects in them had to undergo specialized treatments before being thrown into the incinerator.  So still just trash.

But what if you want to be green.  It usually costs a lot more, is less convenient, and you don't get to see the pay off for a long time.  Sure cloth diapering takes a bit more planning.  I have to stuff/prepare diapers every morning.  I have to bring them home from daycare every night and clean them (well I clean them every 2 nights).  When I want a snack to bring to work, I have to separate it out from the bulk packaging and put it in something else.  We try and use reusable snack wrappers/bags for most things.  Tupperware or glassware for other things.  But I haven't found a good airtight ziplock bag equivalent.  So I still use those, but will use the same one all week.

So like Kermit said, "It's not that easy bein' green."  Nope -not that easy, but I think it is at least something we all need to start working on.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Who's out there?

So for those of you who have never used blogger, there is the magical stats function.  It shows you how many times each post has been viewed.  It also registers a location of where people are viewing from.  I like to look at it every once in awhile.

But the strangest thing - there are people reading this all around the world.  In countries that I don't think I know anyone.  HHmmm.. Who's out there?  Columbia and Singapore are frequent viewers.  Anyone want to let me know they are reading from across the world?  And what is driving you to read this? 

I'm not a writer.  I think of random topics to ramble about.  I'm not very focused if you haven't already noticed.  So if you want to hear my rambling thoughts on something, let me know.  I had this great idea of each day having a set topic - like DIY Mondays, Tuesday Cookouts, etc.  Clearly that hasn't happened.  But I am trying to mix it up a bit.  And on occasion comment about current events.

So if you are reading - thanks!  And if I don't know you - well that is cool too - the magic of the internet - connecting you with people you would never otherwise meet.  Love it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why do mommas get sick

So why do mommas get sick?  Is it because we run around non-stop?  Put our kids' needs first.  Never get enough sleep.  Wipe our kids' noses with whatever we have on hand - and literally use our hands sometimes.  Never thought I would be that kind of mom.  Wasn't with the munchkin.  But then once there was too, it was too much effort at times to run and get a tissue or a wipe.  So then it became the tank's shirt and sometimes mine. 

I think I got over the -wiping a baby's mouth/nose with personal clothing - after the tank puked on me more times than I could ever count.  Yep - he puked about 100 x day for the first 3 months of his life.  Then it got to 10 x day with thickening his feeds.  But after that, I didn't really care about using my clothing as a catch all wipe.

So the tank was sick last week.  And now this momma feels like I was run over by a dump truck.  Just in time to fly to Hong Kong.  Praying that the bug will be short lived and that I don't end up with a horrible cough.  I can't imagine what people on the plane would think if I coughed for 20 hours.

So that's all for now.  Way too tired.  Must clean the floors.  Wait - I mean, must put myself first for a short period of time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am an athlete

I am was an athlete.  I started participating in sports at a young age.  First it was the usual suspects- t-ball and soccer.  Then it was gymnastics.  And from there things got a bit more unique.  The progression does make a bit of sense.  But some of you might laugh.

From gymnastics came synchronized swimming.  That was a crazy sport.  Truly - it was.  We would swim 5 hours a day.  And 8 hours on Saturday.  We actually looked forward to meets because it meant that we got done sooner.  Yep - it was a high school sport.  And a very active one - I think we had 40-50 girls on the team - or more.  My school had won state championship or placed 2nd every year (and yes there were more than 2 high schools!)  But I got burnt out. 

So then came ballet - at the age of 17.  Not really the prime time to start ballet.  But I loved it.  It was kind of a dream of mine.  I did manage to get on pointe, but barely.

And then came college.  And one of my criteria for a college was a crew team.  So I joined the crew team.  I think I am a glutton for punishment.  5 am practices, rowing in the pouring rain, and then ran a few miles every afternoon.  And I am not a runner.  And then the crazy accidents happened.  And that was the end of crew.

Swing dancing came next - did a couple of performances in college and again when I lived on the east coast.  Med school took over, followed by residency.

And now my exercise consists of carrying the 22 lb tank everywhere.  Clearly that is weight lifting.  But my running shoes have been put on for 5 years.  And I no longer own work out clothes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bathroom remodel #1 (of 3)

So the first house we bought was 90 years old.  Loved our little red house.  It was right across the street from the hospital, which as a resident was great.  After not sleeping for 30+ hours, I could just stumble across the street.  And when the Munchkin was in the Neonatal ICU, I could tell they had put her under phototherapy because the blue glow was visible from our house.

But the house had its quirks just like any old house does.  The house had 1 full bath, 1 half bath, and 1 added on 3/4 bath in the master.  And each of the bathrooms weren't quite right.

I will start my plumbing stories with the first bathroom.  It was the half bath on the main floor.  First off, the door opened into the bathroom - but instead of going towards the wall, it hit the toilet.  So you couldn't actually open the door all the way.  You would have to walk in, then creep by the sink, and then you could close the door.  And the sink wasn't against the wall - but maybe 6 inches away. 

So I had the grand idea of making everything work.  Ripped out the sink, door, and lights.  Moved the sink over 6 inches.  Had to redo the plumbing to fit that distance.  Used some flexible hosing, and they even make a little rigid drain pipe that has a segment of accordian pipe so that you can bend it a bit and make it fit.

Tried to move the lights.  No good.  Plaster wall with gympsum board behind it.  Don't ask.  Have no idea why it was made that way.  Chewed up all our drill bits (um - if you should ever encounter this - use masonry bits.  General drill bits don't work.  But I tried anyways.  And now we need a whole new drill bit set.)  Finally had to hire an electrician to move the lights and the wall switch (again it was behind the door). 

And after that we had a fully functional bathroom that you could open the door and walk in at the same time.  A marvel of modern home building.  (No pictures of this project.  But I do have some of the other bathrooms.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

My obsession with chocolate

I love chocolate.  Plain and simple.  Chocolate.  Making my mouth water just by typing that.
My obsession with chocolate started a long time.  It may have had something to do with a parent's obsession with it.  And the lack of sweets or candy in the house.  There is something about having something be taboo that only makes you want it more.

My sister may also have a similar obsession.  And what are two girls (maybe we were 10 and 13 or so at the time) supposed to do in the middle of the summer when they just want some chocolate?

How about get a bag of chocolate chips out of the freezer (What - that isn't where you keep yours?) and then proceed to split the bag equally.  And I mean equally - as in counting each one out to ensure that we had exactly the same number.

And then what do you do?  Well we each put our chips into something - I don't remember where mine were.  But my sister put her's into one of the plastic egg things that nylons come in.  And she put a sheet of paper in there with a tally of how many chocolate chips she had left.

She is the organizer/list maker.  I am not.  We then placed our chocolate chips in the desk we shared.  I am sure I ate mine in just a matter of days.  I am sure that my sister took weeks.  She would eat one or two at a time.  I would eat one or two handfuls at a time.

And after we divided the chips, we panicked because we had taken the last bag and figured that our mom would discover our secret.  So what were two girls to do?

We grew up in a small town.  We rode our bikes all over (no helmets -gasp!).  Through corn fields, creeks, or whatever else we needed to ride through to get to the destination.  I set off for the local grocery store to buy a replacement bag.  Now this could have been the solution from the start (and we could have had better chocolate) but that would have been no fun.  And after that I was so afraid that the grocery clerk would tell my mom that I randomly came in and bought a bag of chocolate chips that we never did it again.

But my love for chocolate continues.  Except chocolate cake.  Greatly dislike chocolate cake/frosting, but all else is wonderful.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Car was Stolen - Twice

Yes.  The title is true.  My car was stolen.  Twice.  In two months.  I'm lucky that way.

This was the first car I bought.  A 1989 Chrysler Lebaron.  Maroon.  With a vinyl top -not a convertible - just a fake leather roof.  It was awesome.  I bought it in 1999 for a couple thousand dollars.  I then proceeded to drive it from WA state to Washington, DC.  It was a great car for trips.  Super comfy plush velour seats.

I lived just outside for a year.  No anti-theft device or alarm.  One night it snowed.  I cleared the windows off.  And then the next morning I found a busted window and the radio gone.  Cops said the people had only broken into Honda's, but because I had cleared my windows - they had a great shot of the radio (the one thing I had spent money on).  This should have been a sign of things to come.  My insurance company was going to get to know me well in the following 6 months.

So a few months later I moved to Baltimore.  Before med school started, all the incoming students went on this retreat to the mountains.  I was going to drive, but had noticed some dark exhaust spewing from my car.  I opted not to drive.  Came back 4 days later and couldn't find my car.  I knew that I had parked it in my little neighborhood lot behind my house.  And I had gotten my parking permit tag, so I couldn't figure out where it was.  Called the cops.  I told the cop my story, and then I asked her what do I do next.  I guess I must have asked a couple odd questions, because then she asked me I really knew where my car was.  UUmm no - just so darn naive.

Two weeks go by, kept calling the police, they kept telling me they hadn't found it.  And then I get a call from them.  They're done with my car.  I can come get it from the impound lot. ?????  Umm - didn't you tell me you didn't know where it was.  Oh yeah- police forgot to tell me they had it the whole time.  It has been used in a drive by shooting.  They took it in as evidence and had it finger printed.  Now I could have it back.  Seriously?!  So I went and got it - started to drive it - the exhaust problem was 10x worse.  And it made a funny sound.  Took it back.  Insurance paid for it to be fixed (they paid more than I had actually paid for the car 3 years before!)

Got it back.  Super busy.  Never got around to buying "the club".  Every morning opened my blinds to make sure my car was still there.  Two weeks later - it wasn't.  Stolen again.  I could actually see pieces of the bumper in the car lot.  Called the cops.  By the time they got there, bumper pieces had been cleared up.   HHmmmmm... thinking my druggie neighbor stole it.  This time it was chased by the police.  And crashed.  And that was finally the end of that car.

And then I became a Toyota fan.  And I had a car alarm.  And I had the club.  And my car was no longer stolen.

I 'heart' Baltimore.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My cloth diapering experiment

Because a few people have asked recently - I thought I would finally tell all about my cloth diapering experiment.

When I finally dove in to this with Tank, I researched for hours.  Well - really days/weeks/months.  I finally decided one day to purchase a few different diapers.  I ordered through Nicki's Diapers because there is a 15 day return policy - even if used.  So I started with the usual suspects in velcro (other than the FB)- a fuzzibunz one size, grovia one size, bum genius 4.0, and best bottoms.  This was when tank was 2-3 months old and about 8-9 lbs.

Fuzzibunz - ok - hard to stuff because the pocket is small and the PUL is REALLY sticky.  I liked the idea of the elastic adjustment instead of snaps, but in reality it is a pain to adjust.  It fit ok at the small size and we still use it, but I really want to sell it - just haven't ventured into selling yet.


Grovia (aplix) - so soft on the outside which I love.  The idea of hybrids/all in 2 is appealing.  But it hasn't panned out for us.  If you were staying at home all day, then this type could work for you.  But the Grovia has a mesh lining inside the cover, and it almost always got damp and stinky after the first use.  The insert works great but it was very hard to fit on a newborn - and even still a bit awkward on a 23 lber.  Another one I want to sell.

Best Bottoms - a hybrid that would actually work well because you can wipe out the cover.  But the front is extremely stiff (aplix/velcro).  And it always leaves a big gap.  It leaked a lot when we used in on tank when he was little - you know - pre-tank size.  But we still use it on occasion now that he is full tank size.  Not a favorite.  Would sell it too.

BumGenius - as a newborn - was HUGE!!  I never had problems with it, but it was just so giant sized that I really didn't use it until he was 15-16 lbs.  Now I use it and never have problems.  I like it, but I have found ones that are just as good for a lot less in cost.

So after trying these, I decided I liked pocket diapers the best.  Easy for daycare, and fit pretty well.  Then the Thanksgiving sales came around and I bought 8 thirsties duodiaper size 1.  These were my favorite for a long time.  The problem about the one size diapers is that the snap down fronts always created weird gaps in the legs and we would get leaks.  So I figured a 2 different size diaper would work better.  And it did.  It was supposed to last through 16-18 lbs - well it only fit tank until about 13-14 lbs.  Then he started leaking through all of them.  Heavy soaker.  But what I loved about the thirsties is the sleeve design.  No pulling out inserts.  Just throw them in the wash and the inserts pull out.  Then just toss all inserts into the dryer.  Loved how easy that was.

So then I was back to square one.  More searching and I found GoGreen Pocket Diapers.  Ordered some of the regular pockets and some of the Champs (sleeve design).  And then after trying them, I ordered a ton more.  And now I am waiting to buy several more:)  Both styles have worked great.  They come with microfiber inserts.  I use one of those and a hemp half from the thirsties inserts.  Trimmer fit and no leaks.  The regular pocket is still big enough to easily stuff.  I shake the crud out of it to get the inserts to come out.  The Champ is a bit bigger, and I don't have to shaking anything to get the inserts out.

And now the rest of the world has discovered these diapers and they can't keep them in stock.

I also have 2 weehuggers that I use and like (just recently got them when a store was closing otherwise wouldn't have paid full price for these- size 2, can't comment on how the size 1 fit a newborn).

I have a softbums echo set - really dislike it.  Cannot get a good fit on a chunky baby.  Would happily sell.

So that is it in a nutshell.  More about inserts some other time.  Hope this answers a bunch of questions that some of you had.  Leave a comment if you have more and I will answer them!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm not usually one to comment on political issues

So I went to bed last night as usual.  Don't watch the evening news, because - well - when you live in a rather small city - but one that is big enough to have its "own" news, there really isn't anything worth watching on the news.  Now you could say the same thing about big city news.  Big city news while in medical school included the up to date death count for homicides in the city.  That wasn't really the news I was looking for either.  But small city news consists of ag reports (that's agriculture for all of you big city people).  Yep - several minutes are spent about the current crop reports.  And then there is 10 minutes of local sports news.  But enough about why I don't watch the news and on with the point.

So I got up this morning and opened Facebook.  The first few wall posts all were praising our troops.  I figured I was missing a major holiday or something because I couldn't figure out what all the praise was for.  And then I finally saw someone post about Osama.  And then my heart kind of sunk.  Don't get me wrong - I love our troops and what they do for us and other countries.  Usually.  But I also don't believe in killing someone.  Regardless of what they did.  And it kind of makes me sad that so many people are cheering over the death of someone.  But everyone has their right to react in their own way.  And so I will react in my way.

And here is what I love from someone else's post-

‎"I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.