Archive for 2004

Dot Moms


Reading Again

After cruising around Barnes And Noble last night, I put together a few selections to keep me busy for a while.
Living Out Loud by Anna Quindlen:
A collection of her “Life In The 30’s” columns. It will be nice to have this around for short reads. I appreciate her bio as a mom of two young boys. Everybody say a heart-warming “awwwww!”
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Now this is a novel I can get into. How is it I haven’t been introduced to this one before?!! I’m 57 pages into its 347, and already imagining how bummed I will be when it’s over. The author is local, here in Portland, and I enjoy the familiar street names and land-marks. Her twisted mind is a beautiful one.
I also bought…
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Doglas Adams
Finally joining the masses who’ve already added this to their list of favorites, I’ll start on this right after Geek Love.
The new Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice
I’ve read just about every one of her books, so felt compelled to add it to my collection. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll actually read it. We’ll see.
Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller.
My old knitting needles are lost in the dust somewhere, and I’ve been invited to join a Stitch ‘n Bitch. I thought it would be best if I practiced a bit before actually joining.

Confessions of an Imperfect Parent

The afternoon spent gabbing with my good friend E, has left me thinking about my parenting style. She has this fantastic way of speaking gently and taking time to explain things softly. I try to do the same, but somehow feels barbaric in comparison. As much as I’d like to be soft and sweet, I think I’ll forever be outspoken and silly. I suppose it’s more of a personality thing, than a parenting style; the result of a sibling of five fighting to be heard, maybe?
So, this leads me to:
10 Shameful Parenting Flaws I’d Like To Improve
1. Raising my voice when frustrated.
2. Realizing a “yes” answer after giving the “no” answer to my toddler, and causing it to look like I’m giving in to begging.
3. Contradicting my husband’s parental decisions in front of our son.
4. Answering to the seductive call of the swing and the bouncy chair, instead of holding my baby more.
5. Continuing to watch the last bit of a Sopranos episode after our toddler has come into the room.
6. Using the TV to baby-sit while I do my stuff.
7. My addiction to soda: My son’s first sip has left him wanting more, and every sip he takes off my drink, the guilt grows bigger. “I’m demineralizing his growing bones!”
8. The fact my son knows what McDonalds is, and makes his request for “chicken nuggets and fries, please.”
9. Having our son tell US we need to “say a blessing for the food from God.” (Thanks, Mom!)
10. “Beep, beep, beep” means dinner’s ready if I’m cooking. Me loves me microwave!

Royal Dad

Royal Dad

The Heirs

The Heirs chilling on the bed.

Royal Mom with Heirs

Royal Mom with heirs.

Striving For Carefree Sex

Xander is nine weeks now and I reluctantly went to the “six week” post-partum check up. It seems so arbitrary to have the OB doctor checking out my nether region when there is nothing to check. No heartbeat to listen for, no watermelon belly to measure and NO REASON to be checking my cervix. If anything was going wrong, that might go wrong, I’d think I’d have an inkling. No routine appointment necessary; I’d be the first to speak up and say, “I think I’m bleeding to death, I might need some follow-up!”
Never-the-less, I decided to subject myself to the unnecessary probing to get my IUD placed. I’d have to go through the pre-pre-pre appointment shenanigan anyway, I might as well kill two birds with one stone, right?
After all the waiting-room waiting, taking off of the pants, juggling crying infant, unnecessary probing and putting back on of the pants, I go home thinking this will all be worth it in a week when I can have my IUD, and enjoy carefree sex for the next ten years (at which point, I will have to go in for more probing). A few hours later, I get a call from the doctor’s office to inform me my insurance won’t cover it and it will cost me $600.00.
As it is, we’re coasting on the last of our funds until I start back to work. That means no carefree sex for a while, at which point the probing done will have expired and more probing will need to be done.
Ironically, when my insurance was through St. Vincent hospital, everything was covered. The nuns have spoiled me and now I will forever complain about my contraceptive expenses.

Cloth Diapering 101

When my first son turned two I decided to give cloth diapering a try. Most people make these decisions before the baby is born, but I’m a little slow.
After doing some research online, and ordering some diapers to try, I discovered it’s not only easy to do, but the shopping for stylin’ dipes can be a little addictive. Who knew? Furthermore, I get a personal high knowing we’re no longer slaves to the disposable diaper industry.
Since the conversion, my mother seems to think I’m now an expert of the modern-day cloth diapering subject and feels compelled to send every interested mother my way. Honestly, any reason to blab about my kids diapers gives me such a pleasure; I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. Instead of hiding my “passion,” I’ll dive right into full blown lunacy and devote an entire page to cloth diapering.

So many choices!

You could use the Gerber cloth diapers, rubber pants and pins from the store, but they aren’t known to be very absorbent and the better cloth purchased online isn’t much more.
There are basically four styles of cloth diaper:

  • Prefold diapers: flat rectangles folded on, cover required. Pin, Snappi or just lay inside a cover.
  • Contour diapers: Shaped to bypass folding, cover required.
  • Fitted diapers: diaper-shaped with elastic in the legs and snaps on, cover required.
  • All-In-One diapers: diaper-shaped with elastic in the legs and snaps/velcros on, no cover required.

The list ranges from least to most expensive, and least to most convenient. Most cloth users I’ve encountered use a combination of styles, depending on the circumstances; one type for home, another for the diaper bag, and yet another for night-time and so on.

How many do I need?

Newborns use up to twelve diapers a day and toddlers use an average of seven. Depending on how often you want to do laundry will determine the number of diapers you’ll want to buy. It has been recommended to purchase 36 diapers for one newborn, and one to two dozen for a toddler. If the diaper choice requires a cover, an average of four to six covers are recommended.

How do I wash them?

A mini-shower attached to the toilet is an easy way to spray off poops. The diaper can then be thrown into a dry pail until wash day. (We chose a cheapo trash can with a lid from Target, without a bag inside.)
When its time to do a load, a cold rinse to start, can help prevent stains. Then it is recommended to wash in warm or hot with 1/4 of the recommended amount of basic detergent (Tide, or any cheap brand without bleach). An extra rinse to complete the wash will help wash out any leftover detergent.
Any detergent build-up can cause the diapers to hold on to nasty odors.
Never use fabric softener because it will coat the diapers and reduce the absorbency.
Bleach is not recommended, as it is harsh on the fabric and will wear out the cotton quickly.
Diaper covers can be washed the same, with your diapers or with regular laundry, but it is not recommended to put them into the dryer. Hanging them to dry will preserve the elastic, and keep them looking new.
NOTE: Most diaper companies will include their own washing instructions and some variations may be indicated. For example, wool covers and diapers require different care than regular cotton

Let’s shop!

Many, many, many online stores exist. WAHM Cloth Diapering Boutique Links is a great resource for a lot of them.
Reviews of different brands can be found at Diaper Pin.

Royal Mom’s Personal Picks

Down With LOL

Nearing the end of my maternity leave, I have come to the realization that a stay at home mom is not the role for me. Don