Tag, You're It

I got tagged by bookyg to write 7 things you don't know about me. Since I don't know who's reading this, I don't know what you don't know. But, here goes.

1. I didn't vote in the last presidential election. (I had to travel at the last minute- too late for absentee voting. I don't feel that bad since I lived in MA, which went blue (of course) anyway.)
2. I haven't slept uninterrupted for more than a 6 hour stretch in over a year.
3. I never wear a watch.
4. I wish I had gone to law school. I guess I still could, but I've got some other things I would rather do.
5. I hate wearing shoes. Flip flops all year long baby! (or birks)
6. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up".
7. I smoke. Gotcha! I'm just kidding. But, in college, Alex, Kelsey, and I used to roll our own cigarettes at parties because we thought it made us look cool. It totally did. But seriously, I think I have smoked about 22 cigarettes in my life.

I am tagging Anita, Justin, and Amy. I don't think I know 7 bloggers but I will add more if I think of it.


The steam roller

At nine months old, Lucy is in the 75th %-ile for weight and height. No surprise, since she eats everything in sight. She can't quite feed herself yet, but she grunts to let us know when she's hungry or wants more. Her favorite food seems to be ravioli with tomato sauce, but she also puts her 3 teeth to good use eating Cheerios, goldfish, and graham crackers.

She can pull herself up to standing with a little help and loves it once she's up. She's still not crawling and gets around by rolling, like a steam roller, across the floor. It's time to babyproof because she is curious and has long arms that can reach!

She is very much downward oriented- she likes to sit in her highchair and drop things off the side. She then looks at what she dropped, looks at me, and bursts into tears. Ah, gravity.

Lucy is easily entertained by peek-a-boo, the itsy bitsy spider, and Mollie. She says mama, dada, and squeals with delight at the sight of dogs. She really loves dogs. We have no idea why.

So, she's perfectly normal if a little on the large side (I can barely squeeze her into size 12 months clothes).

Papa George

Mollie called Papa her “grandpa who lived in a hotel” because her only memories of him were when he was at Mercy.

I wish she and Lucy could have known Papa in the prime of his life- when I knew him as a child. I have so many memories of working in the yard with him, digging, pulling weeds, planting bulbs, raking the sand around the big Maple tree. He always took an afternoon nap. And made the best banana milkshakes.

He wasn’t very good at telling jokes, but he had a good sense of humor. He used to tell Matt that he was like “a bad penny that always returns” and he had that little glimmer in his eyes while saying it. And I think we all know better than to take any wooden nickels.

He taught me how to do handstands underwater in the Russian river. He taught me how to paint a room. To plant seeds. To make paper hats and paper airplanes. To care for plants. To look things up in a book if I didn’t know the answer.

He was so good at working with his hands . He was proud of his heritage and proud of his family. He was trustworthy and reliable. He was respectful of others and in turn was well-respected. I learned the value of these traits just by spending time with him, usually afterschool, and watching how he worked and interacted with people.

He was confident. He always did things how he thought they should be done. Most of the time he was right, and he wouldn’t necessarily admit it if he wasn’t. He was a bone fide pessimist, but that was always balanced out by grandma’s optimism. He loved her so much.

Because they lived right around the corner, I got to spend a lot of time with him- carefree afternoons just doing stuff- riding around in the truck, picking boysenberries, playing in the playhouse. Most of my memories of him are tied to 3040 Arizona Street.

But after they sold the house and moved into Mercy, he had new lessons to teach. He retained his sense of humor and was always a graceful host. I think he taught us all how to age gracefully and to try to accept things the way they are.

Papa George made the most of his time on this planet. I know that we are all proud of the life he lived; his strength and determination will live on through his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Gasoline worries

This summer, I was pleased to see that the skyrocketing gas prices finally had some effect on Americans. A Wall Street Journal report stated that 2008 was the first year ever that gas usage in the U.S. had actually declined.

Those of us who live in the South also experienced a shortage after the hurricanes, forcing people to come up with alternatives and conserve their fuel.

But now gasoline prices are plummeting and the pump isn't so painful. What effect will this have? Has the mentality changed at all? Or will people gradually slip back into their old ways and the conservation trend reverse?


Easy Peasy Dinner

Need a quick, tasty dinner?

Here's my "recipe" for breaded chicken:

1 pkg. (about 8) chicken cutlets
about 1 cups of bread crumbs (crushed cornflakes work well too)
about 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (anything wet will work here- eggs, pinapple juice, any salad dressing, etc).

Dip the chicken cutlets into the dressing and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated 350-400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

You can serve these with rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables. Or on top of a salad. Or wrap them in a pita. The same concept works well with turkey cutlets, zucchini slices, eggplant slices, summer squash... you get the idea.

Easy. Flexible. Dinner.


Beyond Ridiculous

Apparently I've been in the dark about something: J.Crew now has a line of clothes for children ages 2-10 (crewcuts) and a line of clothes for dogs (crew mutts).

The prices are unbelievable. What child needs a cashmere "everyday" dress?

And dog clothes? Seriously, I hate clothes for pets. That's what they have fur for people! But, I guess if you're crazy enough to buy clothes for your dog, why not spend $128 for a cashmere dog sweater.


One of my new favorite websites:

Whip Up

It's full of wonderful, creative projects, patterns, and tutorials on how to do it yourself!


Last post on cloth diapers, I promise

(well, for this week anyway).

I forgot to mention wipes. I really hate baby wipes. I don't like how they smell and they don't really do the job on big messes. Baby washcloths are much more effective. The terry cloth helps to grab the poo (sorry for the visual) and you can just use plain water. I have a stack of baby washcloths and keep a peri bottle filled with water to wet them. With Mollie, we used a wipes warmer filled with moist washcloths. Both systems work well and are way better than commercial wipes. Plus, you can just throw the wipes into the diaper pail with the diapers. Bonus: you can also give a quick sponge bath after the diaper change.

Just for laughs

My friend sent this to me in an e mail and I couldn't resist.


The Cloth-diapered Behind- Part 2

This is our system. The diapers have been very durable and continue to work well. I like to buy them from Wildflower Diapers or Diaperware.
So, here goes.


I think disposables are the easiest for the first few weeks because the babies are so small. Even the trimmest cloth diaper seems huge on a newborn.

Pocket cloth diapers can be costly to buy upfront ($10-25 each!). You might not want to buy the super fancy diapers in the smallest sizes because 1) they grow out of them so quickly and 2) they need 8-12 diapers per day.

For the first few months, we used cotton prefolds (4x8x4 ply, unbleached Chinese prefolds in the infant size) with diaper covers (Either Bummis or ProWraps). I think we had about 18-20 prefolds and 6-8 covers. We washed these every other day. If you have diaper rash problems, you can lay a piece of fleece over the prefold in the diaper and that keeps the baby's skin drier. I actually like diaper pins because I think they make the diaper fit and stay in place better. Matt was not a fan of pins, so he just put the diaper in the cover and fastened the cover. Didn't use the Snappi, although some people love it.

Older Infants through Potty Training:

Once the babe can fit in size mediums (for Mollie this was about 6 months, for Lucy this was about 3-4 months), we started using Fuzzi Bunz as our main diapers. I have 16-18 of these in size medium and wash every other day. The mediums fit Mollie for a very long time (until 18 months) and then we switched to size larges and didn't need nearly as many (10-12). These lasted Mollie through potty training (she was ~2.5 yrs); we have yet to see how long they will fit Lucy.

Fuzzi Bunz are pocket diapers, so you can stuff anything inside the pocket to increase the absorbency. I use an infant prefold and a doubler or piece of terry cloth. Microfiber inserts work well as doublers, but do NOT work well by themselves. I made a few hemp jersey inserts that are very trim and absorbent. These are my favorite inserts, but since we already had all the prefolds from the infant stage...

When the baby starts solid foods, we start using diaper liners. Ours are from Imse Vimse. It says they are flushable, but I routinely throw the pee-only ones in the wash with the diapers and they last through 3-4 washes!! I don't flush them!! If the poop is solid, you can just shake it off into the toilet. If it's not, sorry to say, I throw it in the trash. (Yes, I know you're not supposed to do this but at least I'm not throwing like 8000 disposable diapers in there too!)

Laundering and other info
We use a regular trashcan with a pail liner and put the dirties in there. I just dump the whole thing in the washer. First, I do a cold rinse/spin. Then I do a hot wash/cold rinse using Planet detergent and a little added washing soda. If there are still visible bubbles after this cycle, I do one extra rinse. I always line dry the covers and usually throw the inserts in the dryer (because it's so darn humid here).

I like diapers with snap closures (Fuzzi bunz) because velcro tends to snag on everything in the laundry. But, the velcro are a little easier to use, so it's a toss up. The velcro pocket style diapers are newer and I only have tried two. I have one bumGenius adjustable one-size. Lucy is on the largest setting right now, so unless she miraculously starts potty training at 9 months old, I think the one-size diaper will not fit her all the way through potty training. The other velcro diaper that I like is a Dry-bees. The sizing is very generous so I think a size medium will fit for a long time.

I don't recommend All-in-one diapers (AIOs). They take FOREVER to dry and I never felt like they were getting thoroughly cleaned.