Friday, November 30, 2012

My most embarrassing moment. EVER!

The Hubs, Roo, and I trekked north to visit his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We stayed at his parents house for most of the weekend, and left early Monday morning. When we visit, we typically go to church with his dad and brother on Sunday morning.

Early Sunday morning I got up to take a shower, leaving Roo in the capable albeit sleepy, hands of the Hubs. After I showered, I dried off and rolled my hair in a towel, looking like I was trying to receive some kind of radio signal (Inside joke. My dad always asked, "Do you receive signal with that?" as I trounced from the bathroom to my room in robe and towel antenna. Come to think of it, it may not be funny to anyone else. But he worked in radio so I'll give him that joke!). This time, however, only my head was be-covered. I was, after all, just out of the shower.

As I was cleaning my ear with a q-tip, I heard a quiet knock on the door. Thinking it was the Hubs and Roo, and knowing the rest of the house was quiet and possibly still asleep, I opened the door. I stood aside of the door and opened it wide to allow the Hubs and Roo to enter. I knew he also wanted to take a shower and was probably coming to hand off Roo to me. Directly across from me, reflecting my full glory, was a huge mirror.

It wasn't the Hubs. It was my Father-in-Law.

He began asking a question, looking directly into the mirror. We noticed each other at the same time. He exclaimed, "Sorry! Excuse me!"and went into the office. I gasped and slowly closed the door. Mind you, I didn't slam the door as you would think one would do in such a situation. I slowly closed it, as if paralyzed. I stood there for a moment, staring at my birthday-suited self in the mirror, realizing that in fact I was awake, this wasn't a hazy nightmare even though the lingering shower steam confused me for a moment.

A variety of scenarios played through my mind: Why didn't I identify myself? Why didn't I ask who was there? Why would I just open the door in someone else's house when I wasn't fully clothed?! He must have thought that if the door opened, the person behind it was either approprietly robed and/or the Hubs. I decided that the best thing to do would be to open the door and face him, apologize, explain what in the world I was thinking! But first, get dressed!

I heard my Father-in-law in the office next door making a phone call to the Hubs' brother, letting him know we would soon be on the way to pick him up, so I waited a moment until he was off the phone.

I opened the bathroom door, glancing to the left to see if my Father-in-Law was still in the office. Then I looked to the right to go towards the guest bedroom. As my eyes were sweeping from left to right I saw that the Hubs' parents' bedroom door was open. In the open doorway stood my Father-in-Law.

He was dressed only in a T-shirt.

We made eye contact. He gasped and quickly shut the door. I headed directly into the guest bedroom and dissolved into a fit of giggles. My mind screamed, "What is happening?!" What are the chances that my father-in-law would see me naked? And also that at the exact moment I opened the bathroom door to vacate the room, he would happen to be changing from half birthday suit into something more...clothed?? But I had to keep things quiet so I wouldn't further embarrass him or myself.

The Hubs and Roo stared at me in concern. Until the Hubs heard the story. Then he thought it was hilarious.

We proceeded to go to church. And to brunch. And spent time as a family together the next morning. Neither of us said a word to the other about it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Benefits of Babywearing

So I already posted on babywearing this week. So what! I'm just too excited about the new editions to my stash to not post on babywearing Wednesday! And by the way, my new sling came! Can't wait to post pics. Think I'm addicted? Maybe. But its nothing compared to some people out there!

Anyways, you've probably noticed that baby carriers are gaining more popularity nowadays, although mamas have been wearing their babies since the beginning of time. At least, I assume they have. I wasn't present at the beginning of time, although it does feel like I'm an old-fogey now that I have a baby! At the very least, very scientific evidence (you know, pictures and personal stories and stuff) show that for many generations and in many countries, mamas have been known to "wear" their babies. Its only in recent years that this age-old parenting tool has started making its way into most modern Western societies and American culture in particular. Aside from being a practical way to carry stuff to and from your car or keeping your toddler contained, there are some other important reasons to wear your baby.

Studies show that babies who are worn cry less than babies who are not worn. It can also help with colic and during the generally fussy evening hours. Wearing your baby builds attachment and allows your baby to tune out when experiencing sensory overload (when facing towards you). It allows baby to learn about the world and his environment from your perspective, helping him organize information and process his experience with a sense of security that a stroller is lacking. It also helps the wearer to be more sensitive to baby's needs. Still skeptical? Just do a search on the ol' google machine for "the benefits of babywearing" or some such term and you will find a plethora of information.

Look, if you choose not to wear your baby, or didn't wear your first baby but would like to wear your second baby, or you just love using a stroller, please don't feel any judgement from me. I just wanted to put this info out there because I wish someone had done that for me. As always you have to sift through all the available information and decided what will work best for you and your family.

I'll leave you with these links that lead to some great pictures of baby wearing mamas:

Ethnic Babywearing slideshow
Sling Babies
Babes in Arms
Celtic Babywearing

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New fluff (baby wrap this time) alert!

I know I normally post about cloth diapering on Mondays, but its been a few weeks since I've posted on babywearing and I just can't wait to share my latest carriers with you! I recently and unexpectedly added some extra carriers to my stash and all of a sudden find myself with three new carriers! Which do I try first!!! Its so exciting!

Actually, I did order a Baby Hawk Mei Tai and have been waiting on it for several weeks. I've been wanting a Mei Tai for a while now to use instead of the Ergo, which is mainly what the Hubs uses and which I don't find very comfortable. I love that I got to pick out the colors and design.

Look how pretty!

Hubs will never use this one, bwahaha! Actually the other side is simply plain gray, the same color as the straps. Love that its reversible!

And THEN! I found a used Sakura Bloom Essential silk (double layer silk) sling for sale! I've been dying to try one of these because they are just so pretty! I thought it would be nice to have something that's a little fancier for those occasions when an army green, wrinkly ring sling or the Ergo doesn't cut it. Or for those days when I'm feeling a little blah and need something nice to play up my stay-at-home-mom sweatsuit. Its on its way to me as we speak...

But wait, there's more! I got a little crazy on this one. I've been looking for a different wrap because the one I have is a cotton/hemp blend and very stiff. As I'm just learning how to wrap, I find it a bit challenging. I found this Hoppediz Pune and fell in love with it! Evidently there are some importation issues and the retailer won't be getting these back in stock any time soon, so I went for it. Can't wait to use it!!! One side is pink with orange peacock feathers, and the other side is orange with pink feathers. It came with a booklet with instructions for numerous carries and ties. This was a great investment!

My plan is to post about my stash and write reviews on all the carriers I have so look for those upcoming posts.

Also, I have an absolutely HILARIOUS story to share...look for that later this week.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bums N Beyond local cloth diaper store

This week has brought an extended visit from dear friends, a last minute out of town weekend excursion to the mountains, and the beginning of holiday travel preparations. My heart is very full! And I am exhausted! Needless to say I haven't had much of a chance to blog, and with the holidays fast approaching my blogging may be slightly erratic. Of course, your reading of this blog may be erratic too; who has time for blog reading when cookie baking and present wrapping and family drama season is upon us!

Did you know there is a local cloth diaper store in our very own South Pasadena?!! I'm ecstatic to find this because I've been driving down to Granola Babies in Costa Mesa as I thought it was the nearest store that sold fluff. That store is great, but its a bit of a hike, especially with a squirmy wormy baby in the back seat.

Bums N Beyond is a little store inside The Dinosaur Farm toystore in South Pasadena, dedicated to all things eco-friendly, especially cloth diapers. If you're local, I recommend stopping by and checking them out. Stacy was super helpful and is very knowledgable about diapers. This isn't a full review of the store since I didn't have a ton of time to look through everything, but she has a pretty good inventory and its a great place to go and check out different brands before making a purchase. From what I saw, she has diapers by Apple Cheeks, Bum Genius, Fuzzibunz, Grovia, and Econobum, as well as diaper accessories and several types of baby carriers. I'm sure she carries more brands of diapers but that was what I remember seeing.

I picked up some Rockin Green detergent since I've been having a funky smell issue and its an arm and a leg to order from Amazon. I really had to exercise will power not to purchase more, but since the hubs and I have been working on some budget issues, I figured I'd better behave. Based on Stacy's recommendation I think Fuzzibunz will be my next diaper purchase! Can't wait for more fluff!

If you're in the area and are considering cloth diapering, need help trouble shooting, or have questions in general, head on down to Bums N Beyond and support a local business!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fluffy Stuff Monday...on a Tuesday: How to wash cloth diapers

I thought about posting yesterday, tried to get it done but it didn't happen. Maybe I was too ambitious to try to post on certain days? After all things can be unpredictable with a little one! Maybe I was just building up the anticipation for this post, I know you've been dying to know how to wash your fluff!

Actually, this is one of the questions I am most asked. Of course its a big concern because, I mean, what do you do with the poop? Will it come out in the wash? Will it ruin my washer? How do I get the smell out? How do I remove stains? What detergent do I use?

So here's the haps:

1. Wash diapers on a cold cycle, without detergent.
2. Wash them again in hot water, with detergent.
3. Do an extra rinse.
4. Dry in dryer on low or line dry.
5. To remove stains hang clean, wet diapers in the sun.

And that's it! Everything washes right out of your diapers and if your diapers are clean, your washer is clean. Wash routines can vary based on the type of washer you have, but this is basically what you need to do. If you do less than this, your diapers will not get as clean, although you may need to do extra rinses. For example, front loaders use less water and so you need to figure out how get some extra water in the wash/rinse cycles because this is definitely not the type of laundry that benefits from water saving measures.

Now let's talk about poop, shall we? Washing at the beginning is very easy; exclusively breastfed or formula fed poop washes right out of diapers no problem. It can stain though, and a day in the sun can do wonders for stained diapers. Even meconium washes out very easily (although it definitely stains). 

Once baby begins eating solid foods there are some extra steps. Poop needs to be thrown in the toilet. You can use a diaper sprayer that hooks up to the side of the toilet to spray the poop off of the diaper. You can also use flushable liners (they look and feel similar to a used dryer sheet), that work by being laid on top of the diaper next to baby's bottom and then can be lifted and dropped straight into the toilet. Then continue with your diaper routine. Roo hasn't started solids yet so I have no first hand experience with this, but I'll let you know when it happens! 

What about detergent? I could write an entire post on detergents, but the best type of detergent to use is one that is safe for cloth diapers. Most brands have one they also produce or can recommend other specific detergents. The most popular are Country Save detergent, Allen's Naturally, Charlie's Soap, and Rockin Green. Some people have good luck using free & clears, but most diaper companies don't recommend these. Check out these detergent chart comparisons at Diaper Jungle and Pinstripes and Polkadots. Most detergents have enzymes, brighteners, and other additives that can compromise the quality of the material in diapers, and can build up on the diaper causing leakage issues and skin irritation. 

If you have hard water, make sure to use a hard water specific detergent. Regular detergents have an additive to fight hard water, while homemade and more natural detergents do not. If you use a more gentle laundry soap in hard water, the detergent will spend its time working to fight off the extra minerals in hard water instead of washing your diapers and they won't get as clean. You'll have more odor, leakage, and repelling problems. 

And that's the basics for your cloth diaper laundry routine! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Roo's First Halloween

This was Roo's first Halloween. And then she turned 6 months old. It has been the longest and quickest 6 months of my life! How are we already half way to one year already?! Its going by so fast and I just want to savor everything before she's suddenly 13 and thinks I'm the worst. Of course I spent an outlandish amount on her flower costume, but hey, it's her first Halloween!

I know Halloween at this age is just for the parents. I mean, I don't remember my first Halloween so I doubt she'll remember this! Unless she's a freakin genius with a photographic memory. I'm pretty sure she's at least a genius. I hope she doesn't remember me unashamedly using her to collect candy though. Which I entirely ate Halloween night, except for one sad Mr. Goodyear that melted in my pocket. 

Actually, I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I hate the horror stuff and goulish, deathly decorations. But I like the idea of Halloween, or at least what it used to be- families making homemade costumes and treats, kids safely running around their neighborhoods sans parents, communities coming together for a fun evening. I guess that only exists in my idealistic memory. My family didn't really celebrate it when I was a kid and I can count on one hand the number of times I went trick or treating. Maybe that's why it still seems so fun and special now, and why I was so excited to dress up Roo and take her out and about.  

Do you eat all your Halloween candy in one sitting or ration it for several weeks? 
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