Monday, January 31, 2011
Apparently, we've gotten over 61" since Christmas...the first storm mostly melted away; but the ones since then haven't really gone anywhere so we're stuck with a LOT of snow and no where else to put it should we get any more before it hopefully melts a bit.
Please don't mind my inability to name difficult to remember things like: Rhodedendron....or...Fire Hydrant...or blizzard. I have no excuse other than there was a weird man walking down the street that wasn't a neighbor and I all of the sudden felt really self conscious about chatting you all up video style in the middle of the day and thus forgot how to speak.
So, without further adieu...the snow at our house:
Friday, January 28, 2011
We LOVE our gDiapers. Before Little G was born I was pretty confused about the logistics of doing gDiapers and took a leap of faith that I would figure it out. Truth is, it is just as easy as a disposable diaper...and (in my opinion) there isn't even a learning curve. Here are a few of my thoughts on them now that we have been using them for over a year:
- When Little G was born, they hadn't yet offered the tiny gDiapers so we had heard that many people used disposables until their baby hit the 8lb mark. As you might know, Little G was 10lbs, 5oz when he was born, so fit was never an issue. However, we did wait until his umbilical cord fell off. For most people that takes a few weeks and I thought that would give me plenty of time to get used to the idea of the gDiapers...but Little G lost his umbilical cord very early by getting it snagged on my shirt as I was picking him up after a sponge bath. Small side note: I totally freaked because I was told even if it was hanging on by a thread to not take it off so the fact that I basically ripped it off with my shirt days before it was ready to come off totally freaked me out...in the end, it was fine. But it did mean that I threw caution to the wind and decided to start on the g's the next day. I think we had about 8 pants, 10 liners and a few packs of inserts since I had no idea how many he would go through in a day.
- Starting on the gDiapers was very easy. I had watched the videos on their website and asked some questions on babycenter.com so I felt pretty confident. However, even though I had shown my husband the video on how to flush them, I should have given him an actual lesson. The first day Little G used gDiapers was the first day I was home alone with him. It went pretty well all things considered. Then my husband came home and took care of a poopy diaper upstairs while I was downstairs in the kitchen. Apparently he forgot the video he had watched and just tossed the entire gDiaper into the toilet without tearing down the sides or anything! Needless to say, THAT clogged the toilet! In fact, it clogged the toilet so badly that it started to back up and apparently there was a very old seal on the toilet which meant it backed up into the floor of the bathroom...also known as the ceiling of the kitchen below it where I was standing wondering why it was all of the sudden raining from our pot lights. Yeah...it was a MESS!!! So...moral to that story is to make sure EVERYONE knows exactly how to flush a gDiaper
- At first, we flushed every single insert wet or poopy because I had never composted before and we had a new baby and the concept of figuring all of that out while figuring out how to take care of a newborn was just, well, more than I could comprehend. However, after about a month, we realized that our water bill was going up tremendously. So for a few months, we disposed of the wet diapers and flushed only the poopy ones. However, even though that was much better than tossing out regular disposables, I still felt like we could do better, so we got a good, sturdy compost bin (the city provides some for about $30, but they aren't too sturdy and we figured if composting was going to become a long-term part of our lives, than we should invest in a good bin and we are very glad we did as the sunniest place on our lot is also right next to where we park and visible to the street so it is nice having it all contained and not looking like a big, messy heap). I'm not sure if you already compost, but if you don't let me just say it is so freaking easy to do I can't believe we didn't do it sooner. Seriously. No maintenance. And the best part is that you are supposed to maintain a 70/30 ratio of 'brown' to 'green' which some people find difficult since most food scraps are considered green and once the fall is over, no one usually has a plethora of brown...except the diapers are considered 'brown' which means even less to worry about! Ok...so we started composting the wet ones and they really do break down quickly, and we flush the poopy ones and the only thing that gets tossed and potentially makes our house smelly are the wipes.
- Leaking - we did (and still do) have some leaking issues. Our first issue came about the time that Little G was growing out of the smalls and into the mediums...I think he was about 2 months old. The issue didn't last too long and we used sheet protectors in his crib so it was never a huge issue to just change that out in the middle of the night if we needed to. The main issue was just that he was between sizes. Our next issue came once he started sleeping from his last feeding at 10 to about 4:30 in the morning. He would pee through the diaper. At that point he was in the mediums, so for a while we would use the medium insert regularly and then we would fold a small insert into thirds and put it towards the front of his diaper. This made a HUGE diaper, but also kept him from leaking through the night. Once he moved into the large diapers, he was sleeping 10-12 hours at night and even the doubling up didn't hold all of it...so we threw in the towel and started using a Huggies Overnight diaper at night. It frustrates me a little, but he doesn't leak any more at night which means better sleep for all of us and in the end, it will be no more than 700 diapers over his lifetime as opposed to thousands more so I have to let it go. The only other issue we have with leaking is sort of specific to Little G's very unique method of getting around and really can't be blamed on the diaper design. Little G doesn't crawl to get where he needs to go, he scoots on his butt. So when he is scooting, the insert tends to bunch up towards his rear leaving no coverage in the front which he definitely needs since he is a boy! Again, everyone who has ever seen him scoot has said they have never seen a kid do that before, so I really can't blame the engineering of the gDiaper for what seems to be our personal issue.
- Wear and tear - I will be honest, our gDiapers have taken a beating, but part of that is how big Little G is. He is the size of a small two year old and has been since he was 10 months old! So we have been in the large gDiapers for a while. The large diapers use the medium liners and inserts, so our liners have also taken a beating and the elastic is starting to go on them. You can order them separately off their website so I guess we will do that someday to supplement. Also, on a few of our pants, the snaps have come off the binding. I could VERY EASILY sew them back on, but I prefer to send them back to gDiapers 1) because then they know that there is a reoccurring issue with the snaps coming off and 2) because you get a new pant with new Velcro. The Velcro hasn't been an issue for us at all, although I know the older versions seemed to get less sticky in the past
- Other thoughts -
We only have a sample of one, so Lord only knows if this is normal or not, but even as a tiny baby, Little G only pooped once a day and we could usually time it based on when he went the day before. I am not sure that I would want to deal with cloth diapers for the poopy ones, but I can imagine that it is rather easy for pee diapers. That said, I think in the future, we may purchase some cloth inserts to use for future children so we are moving even closer to a more environmentally friendly diapering option.
We get all of our inserts from Amazon.com through their subscribe and save feature. gain, I had no idea how many diapers we would or would not need to have in the house at any given time, but with the subscribe and save it isn't an issue at all. Basically you sign up and tell them how often you want a case delivered. I opted for once a month. The program gives you a 15% discount on your diapers and FREE SHIPPING. The best part is that if I need more before the month is up, I can go online and request that they send my next shipment immediately. The best part is I can decide if I want the next shipment to go a month from my new shipment or keep
the original shipment...so for instance, if I am scheduled to have a delivery go out on October 1 but I need them to send them now...I can either opt to have my next shipment go out as scheduled on October 1 or a month from now on October 15. They also have a 30% off subscribe and save offer about four times a year and they automatically honor the discount so you don't have to go in and request it.
I also signed up for the gMum program on the gDiapers website...they send a survey every once in a while and the first people to fill it out get a prize (usually a coupon or a couple of gPants) and they also send out marketing materials every once in a while with a stack of $2.00 coupons to use.
The old gRewards program had you send in 10 proofs of purchase and they would send you a gPant and liner. We used that program to get all of our medium and large gPants which means that we only ever paid for the original 8 small gPants. However, their new program is a bit different. You send in 10 UPCs and they send you a coupon for a certain amount in their store. And as I write this it seems that program ended at the end of July and they haven't announced their new program.
Lastly, we do still have our small and medium gPants that we are saving for the next baby and (depending) the one after that. The gPants wear well, but I can imagine that by the third child they will be pretty worn. We got most of our smalls from Craigslist way back when. I'll bet you can probably find some there. The key is to look outside your area...most people are more than willing to send them to you if you offer to cover the shipping.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Yesterday I took Little G into our town square to get a hair cut at the barber shop. It isn't his first...he's been there now four times in his 18 months so he knows what to expect.
There were two others in line ahead of us so we had to wait...in hindsight, had I realized it was going to be an hour wait, I might have come back later. But it didn't matter because Little G did such a good job waiting! Granted, it was because of total access to mommy's iPhone, but still...that's a pretty long time to wait.
He also read the paper while we were waiting:
In the picture above you can see the tuft of hair he has from twirling the same place on his head whenever he sucks his thumb...which is pretty much all the time.
And in the picture below you can see the bald spot he has because of all the hair twirling.
I felt bad cutting his hair off since it is clearly such a comfort for him to twirl away at it...but it was growing past his ears AND we had to cut some off earlier in the week because he had twirled a dread-lock into it. True story.
I saved the Elmo's world video for when he was actually sitting with me in the chair and he watched it completely entranced while the barber trimmed away.
And then because he did SUCH a good job, and because I'm a total sucker, I took him to a nearby bakery for a cookie. He sat in a regular chair, not a high chair, and when we were done he walked to the car with me.
When we got home, he opened up the fridge all by himself and got out his milk.*
Such a grown-up!
Here he is this morning looking like a teenager (albeit one from the '50's) with his spiffy new do.
*this was neither encouraged nor appreciated as the last thing I need is a kid who can get into the fridge on his own
Monday, January 24, 2011
Oh...and please don't judge me by my living room that looks like a day care threw up in it. It's clean when we go to bed, but during the day, it is pointless to keep picking it all up.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I feel silly doing this, but am in the throes of complete procrastination. Anyway, figured I would hop on the Vlogging bandwagon a la Jenna over at That Wife.
Here's the prompts if you are interested in doing it yourself:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
•What do you call gym shoes?
•What do you say to address a group of people?
•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped
•body and extremely long legs?
•What do you call your grandparents?
•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry
•groceries at the supermarket?
•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
Also...for the sake of keepin'-it-real Vlog style...I am just as unkempt and dowdy as I always am on Fridays. No cleanin' it up for the crowds!!
Can we also talk about how I look NOTHING like my profile picture anymore? Guess 40+ lbs, a baby, -30lbs +15 lbs will do that. Sigh.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Yesterday was Wednesday and as you know, Little G and I go to the Children's Museum on Wednesdays. It had been a challenging day - but nothing that threw me for a loop. Basically I had tried to get us to the museum by bus from which we would then transfer to the subway. The problem was that if I take the bus than I use the umbrella stroller, but the umbrella stroller only was able to get me halfway to the bus stop before I had to turn back because the sidewalks were too icy/slushy for 30 pounds of baby on thick, slippery plastic wheels to traverse without getting hopelessly stuck in the sludge. So I headed back to the house, dumped the baby and the stroller in the car and drove to the commuter rail station (one of the great benefits of living where we live is the plethora of options for getting into downtown Boston).
We finally made it to the Children's Museum and had a wonderful time. Little G discovered the bubble room that I have been strategically avoiding and just when I thought we would NEVER. LEAVE. THE. BUBBLES. he decided he had had enough. Although, it may have been because I enticed him with a ride on the elevator. Anyway, we got on the elevator and I realized that awesome-mother-that-I-am, I hadn't changed his diaper since he got up in the morning and it was now 11:15am.
So we headed to the women's room and I laid him down on the changing table and took off his shoes (usually I don't do that but I thought he had pooped - he hadn't - and I'm not talented enough to change a poopy diaper without taking off his pants which meant his shoes had to come off too), his pants and his diaper. I tossed the very wet liner into the trash and reached into the diaper bag to get the new diaper. Except, there wasn't one.
Yup...it took me 18 months to do it, but I left the house without a diaper. And now I was in a bathroom with a half naked, squirming toddler and no diaper. Thankfully, there was another mommy in the bathroom who had just come out of the stall carrying a boy who looked younger, and was definitely smaller, than little G so I peeked around the corner and meekly asked if she had a diaper we could use.
Hmmmm...perhaps she didn't hear me. She was holding her son up to wash his hands.
They finished up while Little G was busy tossing his pants and his shoes on the floor and desperately trying to get off the changing table, so I asked again. This time I made eye contact as I meekly said, "I'm sorry, do you have an extra diaper on you?"
The woman looked at me and my half naked son and said, "WE use the potty."
I must have looked like I was totally in shock at that statement and she continued and said, "he's been potty trained since he was 15 months".
In defense of my son, I stammered back, "Well, he's only 18 months old...", realizing halfway through the statement that 18 months old is actually OLDER than 15 months.
The woman bustled her son out the door apologetically saying, "I know, we're just lucky."
And then she was gone.
And I was still standing there with my son half naked without a diaper and no prospects of anyone else coming into the bathroom anytime soon to save me.
So I did what any mother of an 18 month old boy would do (as opposed to the mother of a 6 month old who may have curled in a corner and cried)...I reached into the trash a-la-George-Costanza-in-Seinfeld style, grabbed the insert I had just thrown out, turned it around so the wet part was on Little G's bum and the dry part near his little boy parts, yanked his pants on him, tossed his shoes in my diaper bag, got us in our coats and hats and headed back to the train station, back to the car and finally, an hour later, back to our house where I was able to change him into an actual, DRY, non-used-and-plucked-from-the-trash diaper.
Yup. Mother. of. the. Year.
So...mothers who may or may not still read my blog after reading this lovely story...what's the worst one ya' got?!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The grandmother of the wife of a colleague of mine passed away over the weekend. Since I have met the colleague's wife in social situations a few times, I wanted to send a card to their family.
Yesterday, I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to make the card when I got home. Since TF was working from home, I sent him the following email:
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 4:48 PM
Subject: hairy note...
Can you put a big hairy note on the fridge for me to make a card for so-and-so and his wife tonight?
TF wrote back:
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 4:57 PM
Subject: RE: hairy note...
What is a hairy note?
To which I responded:
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 5:00 PM
Subject: RE: hairy note...
It means noticeable.
When I got home...this was on the fridge:
Make card for so-and-so
and his wife.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Consider it mentioned.
A year ago, I was really struggling to balance my life. Little G is a very. social. very. spirited. baby. What that means, is that we go out and socialize every day. On those days when we are stuck in the house with each other, we BOTH end up going a little crazy. My husband had suggested that we look into a caregiver to come for a couple of days a week to watch Little G, but I couldn't even begin to imagine doing it.
I was so emotionally strung out and Little G was so spirited that I couldn't understand how anyone could watch him for a day and not end up hating him. I knew he sometimes got to me by the end of the day...and I LOVED him!! So it didn't make sense that someone who wasn't his mom or dad could watch him and care for him the same way I could.
Around that time, we held a brunch at my home for a group of girlfriends of mine and it turned out that a good friend of mine was out of work and looking for a babysitting situation. It was the perfect fit. Here was this amazing, Godly woman, who was a FRIEND who could come and watch Little G for the whole day while I got things done. The main intent was to be able to work on my business...but the icing on the cake would be able to run errands and/or do the little things that weren't getting done because I was all mommy, all the time.
Little G and Miss Jenn had their first day together last January and it was great. I was nervous the entire time, but it worked out really well. From then on, we had a standing date with Miss Jenn to come to our house on Tuesdays and play with Little G. It was a wonderful arrangement and I am forever grateful that the very first caregiver other than us our son had was a trusted friend and a wonderful child-caregiver.
Jumping forward a few months...I was reading the posts on our local parenting board and I noticed a posting by a woman who was losing her daycare situation because the provider was retiring. She was looking for someone to share two days a week with her since she worked a modified schedule. I saw the posting, but pretty much ignored it...we had a great situation and I didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to research and find a place...not to mention, I didn't know that much about the original poster.
About a week later, the woman posted again. She commented about how she had exhausted the spreadsheet of 40+ in home daycare services in our town and had started looking in a neighboring town that tends to have a bad reputation based on location. She found a wonderful family daycare center that was restarting after completely overhauling their entire facility and programs. The woman waxed poetic about the values of the place, the care her child would receive, the curriculum, the cost, the philosophy. Basically, she admitted to crying she was so happy to have found a place so great.
I was really affected by her post, especially since she had done so much research and shared it. Then I found out that the woman who posted works for the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) and that she herself has fostered over 70 children! I contacted her right away to see if perhaps we would be a good match to share her slot with her.
After a few visits, some paper work and some other arrangements, Little G started his new daycare two days a week on August 1 when he was just shy of 13 months old. I dropped him off, kissed his head, got in the car, pulled away, drove up the street, parked, called my mom and cried my eyes out. Was I right to transition him from a playful, one-on-one babysitting situation with a trusted friend to a structured, family daycare setting with more kids and strange adults? I picked him up at the end of the day and he was laying in the arms of one of the caregivers sipping his milk. He barely glanced up at me to acknowledge my arrival. He could have cared less that I showed up to take him home!!
The next couple of visits were more difficult as he cried the moment we pulled up to the daycare...but I stayed behind one day and hid around a corner and found out he really DID stop crying about 10 seconds after I left! Soon, when I would drop him off, Little G would scootch off into the play room and barely look behind him to check if I even existed. The kid loved it there!
Daycare has been a wonderful experience for Little G. He THRIVES there. The women who work there are all so incredibly invested in him even though he isn't there every day. They worked tirelessly with him on yoga and stretches and exercises to encourage him to develop his gross motor skills. And his socialization skills are off the charts. I try not to let myself get too discouraged because it is easy to fall into the trap of blaming myself for not being able to provide the same environment for him at our home. I know that I could NOT do the things they do for him at daycare and I have learned to appreciate the time I now have at home to work on my business.
So often the debate with mothers is over being a stay-at-home-mom vs. a traditionally working mom. In the ensuing arguments for both sides, arguments that are silly considering how personal a choice it is in the first place, daycare tends to get a bashing. Traditionally working mom's can feel guilty that someone else is raising their child...not shockingly they may feel guilty about it because some SAHM's say things like "I couldn't do daycare and have someone else raise my child." But the truth is, sometimes someone else is just what the doctor ordered.