Archive for the Parenting Category

Flats Challenge

Posted in Kids, Life In General, Parenting with tags on April 22, 2011 by 12gviolet

So, part of the reason I cloth diaper is because Mari reacts to 99% of disposables. Some reactions are bad, like an hour in them makes her redder than a boiled lobster, and some reactions aren’t so bad, but I still don’t want my kid uncomfortable if she doesn’t have to be, you know? We found (when the washer and dryer down the hall broke!) that Earth’s Best Baby diapers are safe for her. Which is good to know, of course, for those times when disposables are preferable. Like the ungodly yeast rash she’s just recovered from… ugh. But I still prefer cloth. I’m not super-eco-friendly-supreme or anything, but I like knowing I contribute less to landfills, sure. I’m more about function than cuteness, but I love that they’re cute, yes. But mostly, I just like knowing that no matter what diaper I happen to buy for her, no matter which one I pick out to slap on her little booty, that she’s not going to be screaming in pain some time later. That the company isn’t going to change their formula (thanks, Pampers /sarcasm) and the once-reliable diapers are now evil and I’ve wasted ungodly amounts of money on the econo-box because it’s cheapest.  Cloth diapers are completely natural. I don’t have to worry about chemical compositions changing. If the description online says it’s made with cotton, it’s made of freakin cotton. I don’t have to worry about whatever crap the manufacturing process, or the shipping, left on the diapers, because I wash them in water hot enough that I can barely touch it, and not just once, either. There’s nothing left on those suckers when I’m done with them.

For simplicity, and to get her daddy on-board readily, I chose to go for pockets. Prefolds were ok, but if they hadn’t come with the covers, I wouldn’t have bothered after the first few I ordered. Trifolded, they didn’t catch poop, which meant we had to change the cover every time. That defeated the savings of having many prefolds and only a few covers. But folding them around baby was difficult once she got wiggly, and I couldn’t fold them ahead of time, so they took longer. (“Prefold” is a bit of a misnomer, in my opinion, since you still have to fold them to put them on baby. Padded flat might be better.) Pockets are pretty much disposables when it comes to change time. Just fasten and go. Yes, I have to stuff them, but by making the shell and the absorbent parts separate, washing is more effective and drying time is much shorter. It was the best of both worlds.

For some reason, though, the few flats I had were still my favorite. Andrew didn’t mind taking them off and dealing with them, but he wasn’t a fan of putting them on her. He could, just preferred not to. I respected his preference, and always made sure I used flats myself and left pockets for him. (They’re mine, all mine!!!! *giggle* Yeah, I didn’t mind so much.) But I never bought more flats because it seemed silly to buy them just for me. We used pockets for ease of travel, middle-of-the-night changes, alternate caregivers, and Andrew himself. It made sense to just use pockets, period. I do like them, don’t get me wrong! They’re fast and easy during the change, and I can stuff them while watching TV, so not really a big deal. Yes, they take longer to dry, and are a bit harder to wash thoroughly (I’ve had to wash them twice before when really soiled), but the good outweighs the bad by quite a bit. I’m happy enough with our choice.

But the flat love. *sigh* It just doesn’t go away. I love how they look on her — clean, classic lines — and honestly, I think they catch poop even better than the gussets on the pockets. So when I saw the Flats Challenge from Dirty Diaper Laundry, I jumped at the chance to buy more flats. And hey, part of the challenge is hand washing, so I’m not spending any extra in laundry. Hard to argue! I just wanted an excuse, but we won’t speak of that… So I entered an Interest Form, told Andrew I wanted to do it, and am now trying to figure out what kinds of flats I want to use. Yay! *happy dance*

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Woo hoo! … Aw, crap.

Posted in Kids, Life In General, Me Time, Parenting on January 31, 2011 by 12gviolet

So after my mom died in ’09, I got all her stuff, being the only child and all. Which would have been much more impressive (and arduous, moving it from damn near halfway across the country) if my grandfather hadn’t chucked most of her belongings when he and my grandmother “helped” her move from FL to TN. Yeah, I put “helped” in sarcastic little bunny ears. Why? Because he threw away some really awesome/sentimental/useful things without so much as calling anyone to see if, y’know, maybe we wanted to save it from the scrap heap. Or taking five seconds to wonder if my mother might want to keep it. But nah, she was only battling cancer… it wasn’t like she needed emotional stability or anything. (I may be a smidge bitter about this subject…)

Anyway, the point to this mini-story is I inherited her computer. It’s not a bad computer, it’s just not nearly new enough to run the more demanding programs. So it never really got set up or anything. Mom used it for business, which didn’t require anything but an Internet connection, MS Office, and a few other low-profile programs. It was perfect for her (read: cheap and easily ordered from Dell.com) but it wouldn’t do much I was interested in. We don’t even have an ethernet cable to hook it up to the Internet, for gods’ sake.

But then, as I chased my munchkins away from the computer for the 234027345722477th time, I had a brilliant idea. It can’t get online. It isn’t up to spec, and it sure as shit isn’t worth spending the money to make it that way. It has TONS of free space because Mom didn’t store much more than simple documents on it. If it crapped out tomorrow, I certainly wouldn’t cry over it. It’s perfect for my children! So I downloaded some old educational programs, procrastinated setting it up for a few weeks because I couldn’t find another power strip and I kept forgetting to get one at the store, finally got a power strip, set it all up, and installed the software. Other than the rather steep learning curve for Raven with the program’s interface, it was a huge hit. It literally kept them entertained for HOURS. I got things done around the house. I had five minutes to myself. I’m pretty sure I hit the parenting jackpot.

Then the “aw, crap” part hit. Four days into Parenting Heaven, the mouse stopped working. When I realized it was dead, I actually hung my head and mourned, just a little. Then I remembered I have spares of keyboards and mice from all the old computers, both those owned by Andrew and I (all of two) and those I inherited from my mother (a metric fuckton). I won’t lie, there was happy dancing involved. Except… I can’t find them. Any of them. I may have cried a little. On the inside. On the outside, there was much swearing and pulling of hair. So now I have to either dig through the crapload of stuff in the storage unit for a single, solitary mouse, or convince Andrew to buy a cheap-o mouse so I can go back to actually having peace and quiet on a regular basis. Hmmm, yeah, I wonder which of those will happen.

Unplugged?

Posted in Kids, Life In General, Parenting on June 10, 2010 by 12gviolet

There’s a big movement lately for parents to “unplug” from their technologically-filled lives. And while I agree in theory, I also have to ask myself… who the hell does it benefit? At least in my life, technology is what saves my sanity. Continue reading