Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mom Jeans

What is so bad about mom jeans, anyway? I've been wearing them for years now, if by "mom jeans" we mean plain-pocket, inexpensive, Old Navy jeans. Sure, I have a couple of pairs of designer jeans, which I break out for special occasions, like going to a club. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! A club. I haven't been to a club in years.) I still have the jeans, though, but post-baby they do not fit. Not even a little. Plus, they're way too long to wear with anything but heels (Heels? Surely you jest!) because according to the fashion industry, if you have hips/waist/butt as big as mine, you ought to be 7 feet tall. And mine aren't even that big, I'm just not a stick insect. Stupid fashion industry.

But back to mom jeans - I guess I just have let myself go. I can't seem to make myself properly ashamed of my non-designer-jean-ness. But last week I think I must have finally hit rock bottom. I had four pairs of pre-baby mom jeans that were in heavy rotation. So heavy that I've worn holes in 7 of the 8 knees. I'm sure this has nothing to do with frequent requests from Katie for pony rides. (It's too cute to resist, she makes a clip-clop sound with her tongue.) I've been wearing the holy jeans anyway, because, well, that's all I have.

Anyway, last weekend my uncle came to visit. He wanted to take pictures of Katie, of course, which was fine. Later he sent me the pictures. I saw one that I hadn't managed to duck out of, and prominently featured were my knees, through my holy jeans. Not a good look, folks. I guess I had to see it from someone else's perspective.

So, off to Old Navy we went. I bought two new pairs of non-holy mom jeans. (Unholy just doesn't sound right.) Naturally I couldn't try them on in the store with Katie, so I took my best guess at size. Turns out my best guess was way off, but while I was taking one pair for a test run at home, I managed to spill baby food on one leg. D'oh. It wasn't even Katie's fault, just my own clumsiness. So now I have one HUGE pair of jeans, and one pair that fits. Oh well, I guess the huge pair will be for the transition to maternity jeans. (we hope!)

At the risk of getting a little rant-y, though, why are we mommies expected to look or dress the way we did when we were single? For the first time in my life, I love my job. It requires comfortable clothes, which is a great fit for my personality. My days involve Gymboree, Target, the grocery store, Trader Joe's and swimming lessons. I don't see what's so wrong with wearing plain, boring jeans to these destinations. I do sometimes see skinny, designer-jean-wearing, sunglassed, bejeweled, mani-pedi'd, hair-did moms, but I either pretend they don't exist or make up catty stories about how they lock their kids in a closet for the hour and a half it takes them to get ready in the morning.  :)

I've always been a wash-and-go, no-fuss kind of girl, so I think this mom jeans thing is a blessing in disguise. I now have an excuse to be exactly who I've always been! Thanks, Katie!

UPDATE: I've been informed by my fashionista friend Emily that my new jeans are not mom jeans. Mom jeans, she says, have to be an ugly denim color, and the waist has to be much higher than your bellybutton. So I guess that goes for the huge pair, but the pair that fits is exempt from the title. Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Schadenfreude. Merriam-Webster defines it as "enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others." Oh yeah. I'd love to say I'm above such things, but I'm not. I just watched a video of an entire bridal party falling into a lake, because they went out onto a dock to take pictures and the dock collapsed. O.M.G.

Wow, it really makes the little snafus that happened at our wedding look insignificant. So what if we didn't start on time because the coordinator was looking for the last 2 missing guests, and those guests didn't exist - he'd counted us, the bride and groom? Who cares that the photographer made us kiss so many times that the makeup rubbed off of my nose, and I had nothing to touch it up with? What does it matter that my brother-in-law took my joking comment about the ridiculously-expensive-per-person open bar seriously, and announced to the crowd that they'd better drink up? And that they did drink up, and were too drunk to dance? Or that the DJ misinterpreted our taste in music and started to play hardcore crunk? And, compared to falling in a lake, who cares if we had to wrap up at 10:00 on the dot, even though we were *hic* still having a good time?

Lake or no lake, everything else about the wedding was absolute bliss. Sure, it was hot, and there was a lot of "vog" (volcano ash mixed with fog - yup, you guessed it, Hawaii. Kauai, specifically.) But it didn't rain, and the scenery was just as beautiful as it could possibly be. The ceremony was wonderfully short but very sweet. We exchanged leis, and since it's traditional to do so with a kiss, I kissed Anthony, and then realized, OOPS! The minister hadn't said You May Kiss the Bride yet! There's also some video footage of Anthony and me laughing when the minister opened the box with the rings - because emblazoned on the inside in big letters was "SHANE CO." Nice advertising - too bad they didn't pay us for it!

The ceremony was under a gazebo, decked with flowers, overlooking the ocean. The reception was on a grassy area between the beach and a saltwater lagoon. (Nobody fell in the lagoon - I had my money on one of Anthony's friends, but alas, he didn't come through.) The sun went down as we ate dinner, and when it was dark enough, we had a fire dancer as entertainment! The food was amazing, and if the music was a little lacking, so what. Like I mentioned, everyone was pretty drunk by that time anyway!

Such bliss, to be in Hawaii with your closest friends. A big perk to having a destination wedding is that it trims your guest list by about 60%. We probably should have invited a lot more people, but it all worked out great. There were about 35, and really only a handful of people couldn't make it that we really wanted there. Plus, we had a little casual bbq reception on the mainland for anyone who missed the real thing. Anyway, it was so much fun having all of our friends in Hawaii. We went ziplining, ATV-ing (well, not me, I was in bridal-prep mode.) We hung out at the pool and went down the waterslide. We went inner-tubing in an old sugar plantation's irrigation ditches. We went snorkeling and parasailing. It was heaven!

Ahh, memories. Anyway, after watching that video today, I'm officially letting go of my chagrin over not renting the expensive chiavari chairs. (The coordinator assured us that plastic chairs would be better because they wouldn't sink into the grass as much, and we believed him, but UGH! plastic chairs?!? ugh ugh ugh.)

I would do it all over again in a nanosecond. ESPECIALLY the part about marrying my soul mate. And I'd do that absolutely anywhere. :)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Fling, Flang, Flung!

Yay me! I just spent the past hour purging the master bathroom of excess stuff. Our bathroom has been such a disaster ever since Katie learned how to open drawers. She is endlessly fascinated with all the weird objects that are kept in the bathroom - bottles of lotion, hairspray, brushes, makeup - it's all new to her. So naturally our entire upstairs is strewn with random toiletries. If it wasn't for the baby gate, I'm sure the downstairs would be too. Instead, downstairs is strewn with random kitchen utensils.

Our usual morning drill is to let Katie amuse herself in our bathroom while we take turns showering. Whoever's on Katie duty (i.e., not showering) finds him/herself doing an endless dance of grabbing things out of Katie's reach and piling them at the back of the bathroom counter in the "Katie-free zone." That zone used to extend from the mirror to a couple of inches from the edge of the counter, and has been rapidly shrinking as Katie grows taller. At 19 months, she can reach pretty much anything within 6 inches from the edge.

Well, the unsightly pile of toiletries finally got to me. I sorted everything into categories, purged a bunch of old items I either don't use or don't love, and packaged up the rest in a bunch of those freebie makeup bags from Clinique, which my mother is always sending me. Hopefully Katie will be stymied by the zippers on these bags, at least for a few more months! By then maybe we'll have had time to put child locks on the drawers.

I love having my bathroom back!!!  :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My ears are ringing!

For years, I thought my Aunt Gayle was a rare bird. She could, in her own words, "talk a starving dog off a meat wagon." The only person I ever met who could match Aunt Gayle in a talking contest was my grandmother. Aunt Gayle and Granny used to spend hours together on the phone every day. And I do mean every single day! These were the days before call waiting, so if you called Aunt Gayle during one of her chat-fests with Granny, you were going to hear a busy signal for quite a while.

Aunt Gayle and Granny, as well as my mom and her entire side of the family, were born and raised in New Orleans. My mom moved to Los Angeles in the late 60's, and Aunt Gayle followed a few years later. Granny would visit every summer, to escape the heat and humidity. I grew up hearing those endearing accents tell tale after tale of Mardi Gras, crawfish, Grandpa's pirogue, and shrimping on the bayou. I picked up a lot of weird terms, too, like "lagniappe," "neutral ground," "panee" and a couple of Cajun patois words I can't even begin to spell.

When I'd come home from a visit to Aunt Gayle's, especially when Granny was staying there, my ears would ring. Our house was always peaceful and quiet, which was quite a contrast to the cacophony of Aunt Gayle's apartment. I'd always have a fantastic time over there, though - usually complete with costumes (for no reason whatsoever), music, and lots of junk food. Aunt Gayle and Granny were like a two-person comedy act. They were always "cuttin' up" (another Southern term) and telling jokes and stories. Aunt Gayle's was like a completely different world.

I visited New Orleans only three times during my childhood; once as an infant, during which time I famously slept in an empty dresser drawer, once for a wedding when I was about 7, and once in the middle of August, as a teenager. (NB: don't visit Louisiana in August.) So I was never really close with my many relatives there. I'd mostly hear about a few cousins from Aunt Gayle, who always kept up on the family's gossip. Until today, I believed that I was a California girl with two particularly colorful and entertaining relatives. I didn't really have anyone from New Orleans to compare them to.

Well, I found out today that Aunt Gayle and Granny were by no means unique, at least in terms of the volume of their voices or the length of time they could talk. Today Uncle Ralph came to visit, bringing his cousin and her husband, who generously offered to fly to L.A. to drive Uncle Ralph's moving van back to New Orleans. (He decided to move "back home" after Aunt Gayle passed away last year.) The three of them are on a whirlwind weekend tour of San Francisco, and they decided to stop and say hello to us on their way to Monterey and Carmel. Such nice people! Such charming accents! And WOW, could they talk! Part of me was concerned because they woke Katie up from her nap twice, but part of me loved just sitting there, nodding and listening, and wondering where the conversation would go next. Just like I used to with my dear Aunt Gayle.

Friday, June 22, 2012

No blog is good news?

I was thinking today that I haven't had much to blog about lately. And I thought, with relish, that must mean I haven't screwed up any household/gardening/cooking/homesteading projects lately. And then I remembered: Father's Day.

I was walking by the meat counter at our market the week before Father's Day, and I saw bone-in ribeye steaks for sale. Anthony loves a good steak, so I thought it would be a great Father's Day present. We haven't had a lot of luck with the meat from this market - whenever we've bought the pre-packed stuff, it tastes tough and flavorless. I'm sure the meat behind the counter is better, but at $16 a pound, I didn't want to take a chance. I went to Whole Foods instead.

Side note - I dislike Whole Foods. It smells weird, they're often out of the one thing I happen to be looking for, the other customers are annoying, and don't get me started on the prices! Holy smokes.
But, my mom says their meat is incredible, and I knew I could get some advice from their butchers. So I went. I asked. I got some great advice. I nearly fainted at the price. And I went home with a lovely, 2.83 pound bone-in ribeye steak.

Father's Day arrived. I gave Anthony the most boring present of all time, polo shirts for work. Snooooze. He liked them, though - he's such a good sport. I also got Katie a little shirt that said "I LOVE DAD," which was a big hit. Around 4:00, I set the meat out on the counter to come to room temperature, a step that the butchers and Food Network both recommended. Around 4:45 I seasoned it and seared it in a pan on all sides. Then I put it in the oven to finish.

And, thanks a bunch, Emeril. His recommended 1 hour turned out to be WAY WAY WAY too long! I didn't burn it or anything, but it was well done all the way through. Anthony and I like our steak medium rare, or even rare if we're feeling daring. There wasn't a speck of pink anywhere. :(  Anthony claimed to love it anyway (like I said, he's such a good sport!) And, he told me this:

His dad, who passed away several years ago, used to love rare steak. He would always overcook it, and then blame Anthony's mom, who likes her steak well-done. He'd claim he'd done it on purpose, for her. So Anthony and I ate our overcooked steak in honor of his dad, on Father's Day.

And I'm all for keeping traditions, but I hope next time I can manage not to ruin the steak!!! Gaah! Stupid cooking.  :)

Oh yeah, the other Father's Day fail: Katie flat-out refused to smile. Happy Father's Day, Anthony!

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Ode to Trader Joe's

I can't remember a time when my family didn't shop at Trader Joe's. As a native of Los Angeles, I remember shopping with my mom back when they still packaged their own cheese in-store. The whole place reeked of it. The parking lot was always impossibly crowded then, and it's far worse now. (This seems to be the case for all TJ's, new and old.) My mom still shops at the same Westwood Blvd location, despite the fact that I'm certain they have her picture behind the checkout, labeled "CRAZY LADY, BEWARE!" - but that's a story for another post!

When I moved to the Bay Area, I had a few Trader-Joe-less years. Then we bought a house in San Mateo. It was a darling little 2 bedroom with a nice backyard (by California standards, which means it was the size of a postage stamp). There were some drawbacks to living there, like being 1 1/2 blocks from the train tracks, but the location had an unforeseen bonus: it was walking distance to Trader Joe's!  WOOHOO!

We're no longer within walking distance, but I still shop at TJ's at least once a week. They have such crazy good stuff! Their frozen foods are amazing, and there's always something new to try. They even give free samples! And those samples work - I've often bought what I tasted and had it for dinner that night.

Today, though, Trader Joe's has cemented my customer loyalty - as if I couldn't love the store enough. I'll get to why in a minute, but first a little background:

I've been all in a tizzy this week after FINALLY realizing that most cans are lined with BPA. I mean, duh! How many years late am I to this party? I knew to buy BPA-free things for Katie, but I hadn't a clue about canned goods. We don't eat too many canned foods, but there are definitely some things in my pantry I'll be getting rid of soon. I don't want to overreact, because this might be just some crunchy hippie extremist thing that isn't backed by science. I hope that's the case and that all the food we've been eating is safe! But just in case, I'm phasing out BPA-lined cans from our lives.

In that vein, I was hoping to start making my own tomato sauce and freezing it for later use. I went to the farmers' market yesterday with sky-high hopes of finding fabulous, organic heirloom tomatoes for a song, coming home and peacefully spending the rest of the day puttering around the kitchen. HAH! First off, tomatoes aren't really in season yet. I didn't think $4 a pound sounded like an affordable option, so I bought nothing and sulked. Secondly, when am I going to realize that these idyllic homesteading fantasies are just plain crazy? Just because I manage to make my own yogurt doesn't mean I'm going to be able to raise sheep for wool or keep bees for honey.

Anyway - back to TJ's. Most of the cans in my pantry come from there, and a little googling informed me that some of their products are actually BPA-free! Score! So I emailed their customer service asking which ones. They got back to me within hours with a list, and nearly all their products either are already BPA-free or they have plans to make them so within this calendar year. SO AWESOME!

Love you, Trader Joe's!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Farmers' Market Day ramble

In a complete reversal from my initial panic about becoming a locavore, I find myself ridiculously excited to go to the farmers' market today! True, one of the reasons I'm excited is that I am going to buy some more of that insanely yummy Afghan flatbread, which I plan to serve for dinner on one of the hotter days next week. Easiest meal ever - just slather it with some equally yummy sauces, which I bought last time I went to the farmers' market. Nothing gets me going like a super-easy, tasty meal that doesn't heat up the kitchen.

Another reason I'm excited is that this farmers' market is really more like a festival. It even has a name: Hot Harvest Nights. (How cheesy.) It runs every Thursday from May to September. Yay! (although I guess I'll have to find a different market for the winter.) Hot Harvest Nights boasts about a zillion booths, live music, kettle corn, and tons of kids, families, and dogs. Good times!

Last time I bought some fresh "Pesticide-free" broccoli. That means that they are not certified organic because they use fertilizer on their artichokes, and the broccoli is planted in the same soil after harvest. But they don't use pesticides for any of their crops, so that's good enough for me. But maybe this time I'll look a little harder for true organic - I bought the broccoli from the very first booth I passed, and then passed at least 6 others with broccoli.

And by the way - the broccoli was really good! I'm shocked. For me, to admit liking broccoli is a really big deal. I guess eating fresh really does make a difference!

On my shopping list today, besides more broccoli, is fresh tomatoes. I hope it's not too early in the season - I think it might be. I am going to try making marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes, and if there are any tomatoes left over, gazpacho! There's no way I can screw up cold soup. Oh, except the fact that I did screw it up the only other time I've made it. Hmm, never mind that, let's pretend that didn't happen.

Here's to local produce!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caffeine = gooood

I've mentioned before that Anthony and I are trying to have another baby. As part of this effort, I've been taking folic acid for the past 3 months, and I've started on prenatal vitamins. I've also given up caffeine.

I've never been a huge caffeine junkie, primarily because I don't like brewed coffee. But I love caffeinated soda and I super-love lattes and mochas and anything else that Starbucks can dream up. I'm well aware that these consist of mostly milk and sugar, with a little dash of espresso thrown in. That's OK with me. I call it grown-up hot chocolate.

But most of all, I love tea. I'm very picky when it comes to my tea; so much that I don't order it in restaurants anymore. Restaurants nearly always give you a stale teabag made from the dregs of tea leaves, a pot of nowhere-near-boiling tap water, a slice of lemon (!?!) and no milk. Tea-making is a rather delicate operation. Loose leaves are best, but I'm lazy so I often use PG Tips instead. What PG Tips lacks by being in teabag form, it makes up for in flavor. Freshly-drawn, filtered water is a must. It has to be rapidly boiling. Sometimes I even warm the pot before adding the boiling water, so that not a degree of heat is lost. PG Tips should steep for 4 minutes, but I often mess this part up by forgetting about it while chasing Katie around the house. Thankfully, sugar and half-and-half can fix most of the over-steeping problems. (Not an ideal solution, but a parent-friendly one.)

Most decaf teas are a travesty. Bland and flavorless, I can tell a tea is decaf by sight, after I've added milk. It looks kind of grayish. Gross - and not worth the time, effort or calories. There is one decaf tea that's palatable, but I have to special-order it from the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle. When I was breastfeeding (pumping), I would often decaffeinate my PG Tips by pouring boiling water over the tea bag, swirling for about a minute, pouring the water out and adding more boiling water. It was hard to watch the best part of the tea go down the drain, but the "second brew" has only about 20% of the caffeine left. It also has only about 50% of the taste, but to me that's a good tradeoff. I would also time my tea consumption so that the least amount of residual caffeine would end up in my milk. Caffeine is said to peak in breast milk after about 1 hour, and I was pumping every 2 hours, so I was able to make it work. I never noticed any kind of change in Katie's behavior or sleep.

Today, though, I've had a boat-load of caffeine. I had full-strength black tea (unfortunately, not PG Tips) and I also had a Starbucks mocha about 2 hours later. I'd say my total caffeine for the day is about  100 mg. (Which explains the length and rambling-ness of this post!) Why have I broken my caffeine fast?

Because I have a migraine today. This is the toughest time for me - I'm in "might-be-pregnant" limbo. I won't know for another week, so I'm afraid to take Imitrex in case I might be. True, anecdotal studies indicate that accidental use of Imitrex in the first trimester seems to be OK, but I'm a little paranoid. I keep telling myself that if I am indeed preggo, the baby consists of a teeny clump of cells much smaller than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. I doubt it could be affected by Imitrex, but that's hardly enough evidence to go on. Sigh. Fortunately for me, I briefly stopped getting migraines during my last pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, they didn't stop until the second trimester. It was hard enough going to work with an unmedicated migraine, but at least I knew I could call in sick or lie down under my desk if it got really bad. (It did, once.) There's no such luxury with Katie. Mommies don't really get sick days.

So caffeine it is. On the upside, I have so much energy! I cleaned the dickens out of my kitchen sink before I put Katie down for her nap. On the downside, it's not working on the headache. I can feel it building and building. Please please please don't let it get any worse!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Katie the Celery Slayer

Gaaah! I just looked in the backyard and my celery is dead! Or near death; it's all shriveled up. Parts of it still look green, but I think it's a goner.

I was so pleased with myself for discovering on Pinterest that you can grow new celery from the "butt" of store-bought celery. How cool is that? You cut off the useful part, then put the butt end in a small dish of water in a sunny place. After a couple of days, it sprouts! (or in my case, nearly 2 weeks - we don't get enough sun in our kitchen.)

It didn't matter that mine was slow in sprouting, because it took almost 2 weeks for me to get my butt over to Home Depot for some potting soil, and then an additional week to find the time to plant the sprout. But I got it done, finally, and set my pot out in the sun to await lovely fresh celery to be at my beck and call. I don't normally eat celery, but every so often I'll cook something that requires celery and wouldn't it be nice not to have to buy a whole new bunch every time?

But where I saw an opportunity to be a homesteader/locavore, Katie saw an opportunity for discovery: What happens if I scoop the dirt out of Mommy's new celery pot? Hmm, Mommy watches me with a baleful eye. OK, what if I pull the entire celery sprout of out the pot and throw it on the ground? Oh, wow, Mommy gets really mad! This is cool!

I admit, the last few days have been scorching and I didn't water the celery yesterday, so perhaps I'm the real killer. But really, I don't think being ripped out of the soil helps a plant's longevity. I thought sticking it back in the soil and pretending nothing happened would be a fine strategy, but evidently not.

Luckily I have one celery butt left. Let's hope I can keep it out of Katie's ever-increasing reach!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Secret to Awesome Orchids

My grandfather was a brilliant man; he graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, spoke 6 languages, and was a top-level executive for the Motion Picture Association. He was sophisticated and worldly, well-spoken and very well-read. And, according to my dad, he also had a little secret, about which my dad and grandmother would tease him mercilessly.

My grandparents lived in Manhattan, in a gorgeous apartment with a small balcony that had a great view. If you stuck your head out and looked to the right, you could see Central Park. But what made the balcony unusual was its ability to grow potted geraniums. Every winter, my grandfather would eagerly await the coming spring, so he could put out his beloved flowers. And every year, he managed to get that cheerful burst of color long before anybody else on the block.

How did he do it? The same way I grow orchids.

They were fakes!  He'd put the fake ones out a few weeks early, until the real ones got a chance to get started. As for me, my orchid plants are real, but darned if I can get them to bloom again. So a short trip to Michaels and ta-da! Ever-blooming orchids, no matter what the weather! No sun? No problem! And since the leaves of the plant are real, and orchid flowers have that waxy, fake look anyway, no one is the wiser! Except, of course, if you look closely. Or, if you know anything about orchids - which will make you wonder how a Phalaenopsis can possibly be blooming out of Oncydium leaves! That's because I haven't the foggiest clue what kind of orchids I actually own. If they'd just BLOOM, for heaven's sake, it would be easy to tell.

You won't tell my secret, will you?  ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cloth Diapers? You're Crazy!

Before Katie was born, I got a whole lot of negative feedback about my choice to use cloth diapers. The comments ranged from "You're crazy!" to "That's too much work!" My least favorite was, "I'll give it three weeks before you give up!" Wow. I knew that cloth diapering parents are often in-your-face and militant, but I had no idea the disposables folks could be, too!

I thought I'd write a post to dispel the above myths about cloth diapers. I was going to bore you with reasons cloth diapers are good, but this site does a really good job and besides, I'm sure you don't need or want my opinion about what to put on your kid's bottom. :)

So let's stick to proving that I'm not crazy!  (Or at least, not THAT crazy.)  Here's why I love cloth diapers!

They really aren't that much work.  I wash Katie's diapers at home, rather than paying a diaper service. Diaper laundry is hands-down the best laundry in the house. It's basically wash and dry. There's no sorting. There's no folding. Putting the diapers away involves stuffing them in a drawer under the changing table. Sometimes I just use 'em out of the basket. Wish my husband's shirts were that easy! I actually look forward to diaper laundry. I have never said that sentence about ANY other laundry, EVER.

Cloth diapers today are SO much better than the ones our parents and grandparents used. They are "prefolded", meaning that the diaper is folded five or six times to make it fatter in the middle, then stitched down. The stitching makes the diaper "quilt up" after it's been washed a few times, so it's nice and soft and absorbent.  Prefold diapers are also sized, so there's much less bulk from excess fabric. You don't have to fold the diaper in weird ways to make it fit your baby.

When Katie was a newborn, I used to hold the cloth diaper on with a Snappi clip, but now I don't bother. I use the "trifold" method: fold the diaper in thirds and lay it on the diaper cover. Then put it on exactly like a disposable. Could not be easier!  When it's time to change, I toss the diaper in the diaper pail and re-use the cover with a clean diaper.

Cloth wipes go into the pail along with the diapers. I love cloth wipes! They're about 8" x 5", terry cloth on one side and plain cotton on the other. They are so nice and thick and soft! When I was buying my cloth diapers I considered skipping these and using disposable wipes instead, but I'm so glad I didn't! Especially for messy clean-ups. The thick cloth keeps me far away from poo, and I'm sure they feel nice on Katie's bottom. (I haven't asked her, though.) The cloth wipes stay warm in a wipe warmer designed for disposable wipes. I know, totally not eco-friendly, and I could care less. Warm, wet cloth wipes are at my fingertips any time of day. I love it!   UPDATE: Since it's been so hot, I've unplugged the wipe warmer and now it's just a wipe-keeper. Katie did squawk a little at the temperature at first, but she'll survive.

But doesn't the diaper pail stink, you ask? Not really. Sure, if you lift up the lid and stick your nose in there, you're asking for it. But it doesn't stink up Katie's room. I wash diapers every 2-3 days, and on the third day you can certainly tell it's Diaper Day when you lift the lid. But so what? I grab the diaper pail liner (which is a waterproof, washable bag) with all the diapers and wipes in it, trot downstairs and dump the entire thing into the washer. I turn the bag inside out to make sure it's empty. I also toss in any diapers that were in my small, on-the-go wet bag.

Washing is super simple, too. The diapers get a quick cold "express wash" to get any, um, solids off. There usually aren't any solids on Katie's diapers, but I've hung onto this habit from the pre-potty days. When that cycle is done, I take out the wet bags since they don't really need sanitizing. Then the diapers get a nice hot wash with a double hot rinse, and I spin them on the lowest setting if I'm going to hang them outside. That's my favorite part - hanging the diapers on a drying rack in the sun. Call me crazy, but it takes about 1 1/2 minutes and makes me feel good about using less energy.

When the diapers are barely damp (i.e., before they get crispy) I toss them into the dryer for a couple of minutes to soften them up. Sometimes I forget them outside and they are stiff as a board when I go and get them. Katie has never minded a stiff diaper, but I try to remember to soften them anyway. The hoops I'll jump through for that cute little bottom!

So, what do you think? Am I crazy? :)

Here's Katie "helping" me hang up the diapers...TIMBER!!

Curse you, Blogger!!

Technical Difficulties

I was just working on a very long post. I went back to edit a sentence, then decided I liked it better the old way, did "undo" several times, lost the whole post, and Blogger auto-saved it, blank! OMG OMG OMG

<wheeze wheeze>

When I recover from this unfortunate turn of events, I'll try to recreate it. BOOOO!