Category Archives: cloth diapers

Didn’t write it, in the middle of reading it, got rid of it, trapping the Internet.

I know I said I’d write about diapers over the weekend, but I didn’t do that. I don’t really have an excuse for myself. Sometimes I tell the Internet I’m going to do something and then I don’t do it. I should feel more ashamed than I do, but I’m incorrigible. I was hanging out with my kid and also Phil. We didn’t do anything crazy. I just didn’t write about the diapers yet. I will. Of course. Because, ha.

The truth is that I also kind of got overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by my diaper collection. Yet as soon as I finish this post, I will go back to working on some other writing, the kind that people pay me for in dollars, not silence, to squirrel away funds in my PayPal account for more diapers. So.

*****

A while back, Swistle mentioned liking this young adult book called The True Meaning of Smekday, and I added it to my “to read” shelf in Goodreads. Then? One day? IT JUST SHOWED UP AT MY HOUSE. Because that is the kind of thing that happens when you’re friends with a lady like Swistle.

(When I was first on bed rest? Swistle sent me some brownies, and not only were they fantastic, she also sent along little plates with them, because she’s thoughtful like that. And you think that’s the end, but no – she left the Target clearance sticker on the plates, because she and I are kindred spirits of the orange sticker – I swear, I have orange-sticker-seeking laser eyeballs when I walk through Target. And she understands that. I feel like Swistle and I are the same people in alternate universes that are entirely the same, except in hers, the me/her can handle five kids, while in mine, the me/her is in a constant state of shrillness over just ONE kid.)

Anyway, Swistle sent me that book and within one chapter, I was totally charmed by it. It’s a cute book, and it’s funny. I feel like some of the jokes might go over the head of the youngest of the YA book reading age range, but not over the heads of adults. There’s a lot of humor that is based on the writing style of the author, which I can appreciate, and I don’t know how to compare myself to a published author without sounding like an asshole, so let’s first all accept that I’m an asshole, and then I’ll go ahead and do it so it’s not a surprise. Anyway, the writing style and tone reminded me, in some places in the book, of my own writing and style and tone, which probably enhances my enjoyment of the book, because I am my own biggest fan. Because I’m an asshole.

I haven’t even gotten to my point yet. So I was reading along in this book and it’s charming and entertaining, but the age of the main character – 11 and a half – takes a huge bite out of the believability for me. So I mentally adjusted her age to 14, and now this book about an alien takeover is much more realistic.

This is just like the other day when Phil started telling me a story about how he was trying to take a shower but the water was too hot because this is Phoenix and the water comes out of the ground hot (which is what leads to a sweaty toilet embrace), and I was waiting for the conclusion to the story, but that was it. This is just like that. I thought there was more of a thing when I started typing this part of the post, but I was wrong. Water comes out of the ground hot, doesn’t get cold. End.

*****

Volunteering for things is really big in the Air Force, probably in all of the military, but I don’t know about that. Just this morning Phil forwarded me the flier of a volunteer opportunity he is going to join – making little beanies and blankets for children in Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where Penny recently stayed.

And I know that this particular opportunity doesn’t apply to most of you, but should you ever get a chance to participate in some kind of children’s hospital volunteer event, I really, really urge you to do it.

When Penny was in the NICU, she was provided with a couple of little hats, hand-knitted by volunteers, which was so sweet. But on top of that, and what still gets me, is that there was this senior citizens volunteer group, and they worked with the NICU people on scrap booking. And Penny had been in the NICU for a day, maybe a day and a half, and this group had asked for her name and got to work. And they made this sign that said PENNY, with cut out letters, matted on several pink and purple pieces of paper, and there were “girly” stickers, like a high heel, and there was a little wooden bird attached – I would look, but I’m not sure where it is right now and I feel like such an asshole about it. Anyway, they hung this little sign that said “PENNY” from her monitor, the one that kept track of her heart rate and O2 sats, that we stared at ALL OF THE TIME. Her name was written on a little white board next to her isolette, with her weight and her nurse’s name, and that was fine, but every kid in that NICU got a scrap booked sign of their name hung up next to their bed.

I guess that sounds kind of lame when I write it out, but that, plus the hats, plus the people who pushed a cart of complimentary hot coffee and other drinks around for families at Phoenix Children’s, plus the ones who brought around games and books and all of that, it really sticks out in my mind. I mean, my kid was in the hospital twice – one 8 day stretch and one 5 day stretch, very sick both times, and I distinctly remember the efforts of these volunteers.

I just think that if you get a chance, you should. I know that the whole point of a volunteer opportunity is to be selfless and do something without reward or thanks or whatever, but I know I personally am a person who is a little more encouraged by results (see above re: asshole), so I’m telling you. It matters to people.

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Dear Medela, GTFO.

Hey, so, I returned the rented Medela Symphony we had picked up after Penny came out of the hospital this last time. We got it because she needed to be on high cal formula for a while, and it was easier to keep track of her intake using bottles. So I could pump and add some formula to the expressed milk to bring up the calorie count of that as well, but I’ve never been able to pump too much. So mostly, Penny got formula, plus I would pump enough to make sure that one to two of her bottles each day was breast milk, with the added benefit of keeping up the supply for her eventual, hopeful return to nursing.

And you know what? It just didn’t work out. I’ve never been able to pump too much. Some women and pumps just don’t get along too well, you know? So it’s not like I was building up this enormous freezer supply while doing this. Enough for her to get one bottle a day, most days, as well as maybe put an ounce or two away in the freezer.

And exclusively pumping is so stressful. It’s so by the clock. You can’t just hope she naps and do it then. It’s got to be regular. And sometimes your baby needs you during those times and there’s nothing you can do about it because you’re pumping. And if you do wait until she’s asleep, then the time that you would normally use to do things like dishes and laundry and showers and peeing gets taken up by pumping. Plus? That Symphony is no effing joke. Pain. Lots of pain.

I’d been through the whole thing before, the pumping and formula, when Penny was brand new and it took 6 weeks for her to learn how to nurse, and I was glad to be past it, because breastfeeding was just easier. Feeding the baby was no longer a two hour process of bottle, feed, pump, store, and things could get done and everyone was happier.

So I started pumping again with the idea that we’d get back to those easy times, but I realized after only a couple of weeks that it just wasn’t going to work. Going back to that stressful, clock-watching, supply-worrying time was just not on. It was making me resentful and cranky, and it’s just not the relationship that I want to have with Penny with regard to feeding.

So I took it back to the store with a couple of weeks left to go on the rental. I nurse Penny in the morning when she wakes up and in the evening before bed, and I don’t expect that will last too much longer, because both of those nursing sessions are followed up by a hefty bottle. It’s not even enough for two feedings, the supply. It started ticking down when she got sick and too weak to nurse properly, and I just don’t have it in me – I’ll be honest, I just don’t WANT to do what’s necessary to restore and keep it up.

Once those feedings are no longer happening, we’ll dole out the very small freezer stash, one bottle a day, until it’s gone. I’ll stretch out the breast milk as long as I can, but when it’s done – a week? two? Maybe a month? – that’s it.

I’m not saying this because I feel like I owe the Internet an explanation, or because I need your approval. I’m just saying it. There’s a lot of stuff wrapped up into this decision, with guilt and “best for the baby” and “best for our family” and “best for me” and all of that all at once.

But that’s what’s happening, and I am at the same time TOTALLY OKAY and REALLY DISTRESSED about this decision, but rationally know that we’re all going to live and it’s not the end of the world. It’s possible to feel really terrible about the right choice, I guess, but it’s hard to say that I feel TERRIBLE because I know I’m making the right call. But there are also flashes of terrible.

Over the course of Penny’s existence, I’ve talked about breastfeeding here a few times, and there have been two lines offered up in the comments that really helped me to get to where I am right now, not in terms of abandoning breastfeeding but more about how I got to be okay with it.

1. Formula is food, not rat poison.

2. Breastfeeding never, ever has to be an all or nothing thing, either in terms of exclusivity or duration. Some is GREAT.

If you were the one who told me either of those things, feel free to credit yourself, because I repeat them to myself and expect to repeat them to others, a lot.

*****

HOW TO CAPTURE A WILD INTERNET

1. Set up one of those weird wooden box balanced on a stick with a string tied to it contraptions.

2. Bait the trap.

3. Yell, “HEY INTERNET! This baby is in a Bumbo on an elevated surface and there’s no adult in the frame of the picture so she is obviously COMPLETELY UNSUPERVISED even though that doesn’t make sense because then who is taking the picture but sense doesn’t matter because that UNSUPERVISED BABY is in a Bumbo on an ELEVATED SURFACE!”

4. Wait for the Internet to run into your trap with pointed sticks and those torches you always see angry mobs carrying.

5. Pull string, trapping the wild Internet.

6. Enjoy your wild Internet.

No nostalgia parking, future diapers, and P TWO.

Does anyone else remember that old Nickelodeon commercial with the song that had the line, “or when you’ve had enough of doing grown up stuff?” Do you remember any more of it?

Please note that I am only interested in this one specific commercial that has been running through my head for days, and not interested in getting into a Nickelodeon nostalgia fest. Not that I’m against a good nostalgia fest. It’s just that we don’t need one here.

It starts out innocently enough, with someone being all, “Hey, speaking of Nickelodeon, what was that show with the hat?” (Today’s Special.) And someone answers, and then they’re all, “Hey, remember Snick? Wasn’t Snick great? I used to want a big orange couch.” And someone else will bring up the merits of TGIF on ABC, and the time Steve Urkel crossed over onto Step by Step to give Al a valuable lesson about something. Being a nerd or parachuting or whatever.

And that’s fine, while we’re all discussing TV or whatever, but then someone pops up to say, “Hey, remember slap bracelets?” And tells the story about how his school banned slap bracelets, as if EVERYONE’S SCHOOL EVER did not ban slap bracelets (except for yours, commenter who is rushing to the comments section to tell me that I’m wrong. I know that your school didn’t ban them. Don’t worry. I know. You don’t need to tell me.) And someone else has to say what was banned at their school. Jellies or whatever.

“HEY! JELLIES! REMEMBER HYPERCOLOR SHIRTS?”

And, see, now you’ve done it. Now the comments turn into a long string of “Hey, remember _________?” And it’s stuff we all remember. And even that is kind of fine, because people are talking about their favorite things, telling little anecdotes and what not. Fine. But it just goes downhill from there. Soon, the comments are just one-liners. “Hey, remember Popples?” Then, they turn into lists.

Teddy Ruxpin
Petster
He Man

Okaaay… even when the lists start, a couple people still pop up here and there to say, “Oh, I had forgotten all about that!” or, “I’ve been trying to remember what that was called for YEARS!”

But that only lasts so long before people are Googling lists of “crap from when we were kids” and then just pasting entire lists into the comments with no further information. Okay. Yes. All of those things existed at one point. Got it. What a nice reminder.

Except? It’s NO LONGER A NICE REMINDER. Do you know why? Because this EXACT CONVERSATION has been happening on websites and in blog comments and on forums SINCE THE DAWN OF THE INTERNET.

It is a standard Internet conversation, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but we’ve all had it eighty times, and if you feel like you need to have it again, there are about 900 other places you can DO THAT, RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT. Right NOW, I just want to know, do you REMEMBER THE LYRICS IN THAT ONE VERY SPECIFIC COMMERCIAL?

*****

I have pictures of the burger diaper on Penny’s butt but I think I am going to save them for a diaper post. Which I will probably be making this weekend some time. I tell you this now so that if you have any pressing questions that have not been answered on any of the eight thousand identical cloth diaper posts over the last few years, you can email me or contact me any other of a number of ways to ask before I write the post so that I may incorporate that information and ALSO so that those of you who are mortally offended by coming across a post that does not apply to you or your current interests are warned to STEER CLEAR, because if there’s anything I strive to avoid, it’s forcing you to read things that don’t apply to you or interest you in any way.

But I’m also pretty much done apologizing for the whole diaper thing. I like them. I like shopping for them. I like trying all different kinds. I like trying to snag super pretty, one of a kind diapers when they’re stocked in work-at-home-mom shops each week.  If you don’t, that’s fine. I promise to use the word “diaper” a lot of times in the title of the post so you catch on before you have to read too many words. But that is all the consideration I am prepared to give.

Also? This is coming to my house today or tomorrow:

Macadamia by tangerine.baby

There is a whole story of heartbreak and redemption that goes along with the purchase of that diaper, but I am not going to tell you because I said I’d talk about diapers this weekend, and the people who just CAN’T STAND IT when I talk about stuff like diapers and babies because they hate diapers and babies are too far into this entry now to abandon it and it just wouldn’t be fair to them.

*****

Hey, did you know that Penny can time travel? She went all the way back to Easter, 1977 and someone snapped a picture.

I’m kidding, my baby can’t time travel. My husband, though, has apparently perfected cloning in secret. Or has produced Penny on his own, splitting off a small piece of himself in an amoeba-like fashion, without need nor want of my participation.

Vast improvements have been made in v2.0 based upon your feedback, but unfortunately we were unable to address the smell issues at this time.

Pink stuff, plastic stuff, butt stuff, and Penny stuff.

Hey, so did you know that I spend a lot of time reading baby forums? I wasn’t sure if I ever told you that. I mostly just read in law stories, because parents of new babies have the best and most insane stories to offer, but I come across other ridiculous stuff on the regular as well.

So let me ask you about this one: What’s with ladies who are having girl babies who manage to work into every conversation some point about how they won’t be buying their daughter anything pink, they hate princess stuff, their stupid mother in law keeps buying DRESSES for her baby GIRL, and it’s all so awful, and there will NEVER be ANY of that pink or girly stuff around HER baby because she doesn’t want her daughter to have girly stuff?

Which, I guess, is kind of fine, but you never hear anyone going, “My mother in law keeps buying PANTS for my SON! Doesn’t she know I don’t want any of that PANTS CRAP in my house? And get this – a blue onesie! BLUE! I’m sorry, we’re just not doing that. Nope. I don’t want any of that boy-y shit for MY son.”

Nope. It’s only ever against the girl stuff. And okay, I know there are a couple of people out there who deliberately bought gender neutral EVERYTHING for whatever sex baby they were having for some kind of deep reason, but if that was you, you need to understand that you’re the exception, not the rule, and that this is not about you.

In fact, Internet, the Internet would be a much nicer place if people could recognize when they were an exception

“No, ACTUALLY, I hate Ice Ice Baby, so your offhand comment that everyone loves Ice Ice Baby, a comment composed exactly .05% of this entire blog post , is completely wrong, and even though you made some very excellent points further down the post, I didn’t read them, because I needed to come to the comment section IMMEDIATELY to let you know how wrong you are, because I don’t understand that you made a pretty inconsequential generalization and feel you MUST BE INFORMED that not only is your statement not correct 100% of the time, but I, in fact, am one of the VERY PEOPLE to which it does not apply!!”

and not the rule

“You know, you’re right, french fries do have a pretty universal deliciousness acceptance rate.”

Anyway, Internet. Exceptions and rules. Figure out which one you are and stop shitting on people’s days.

So, right. The vociferous refusal to buy pink, girly stuff for girl babies. (There is a post here on Mommy Interrupted discussing the specific implications of little girls being exposed to a sort of “princess culture” which I think is a different thing entirely, important to discuss and outside the scope of what I am bitching about right now, but available to you if you’re interested in a good read about the topic and have opinions! To share!) I would get it more, I think, if the same thing happened for boy babies, the refusal to have anything blue or any trucks or what have you.

I don’t see why it’s bad or wrong or somehow objectionable (even for the few people that make an issue of it) for your little girl to wear little girl clothes and play with little girl toys. I’m not saying you should PAINT the kid pink or something, but… she is a girl. So why so determined to strip away anything “girly?” I think you’re sending more of a harmful message about “girly” things being shameful than a powerful message about whatever you think you’re sending a powerful message about.

I have no conclusion to this.

*****

Kind of related? People who buy their kid 6 of those wooden toys and nothing else, not because they want to live some kind of Montessori lifestyle with their baby, but because they don’t want that plastic crap all over their house. I think their baby boys also wear ties and sweater vests 100% of the time.

It kind of goes with the whole thing that people are afraid of other people thinking that they’re different now that they have a kid. I have seen that a lot with blogging and with my own blog – Oh, so and so has changed since she had a baby, it’s just awful.

OF COURSE SHE CHANGED, SHE HAD A BABY.

Except no, it’s not really changing, I don’t think. I think you’re the same, but you’re living a different life. I mean, what if you won a bajillion dollars in the lottery? I don’t think it would fundamentally change you, as a person, but you wouldn’t be living the same life any more and you’d probably conduct yourself differently in a lot of aspects of your life. I mean, you could try REALLY HARD to keep everything EXACTLY THE SAME, but I don’t think it would be possible.

(“Actually, I’d keep everything exactly the same!” See above re: exceptions and rules. Jerk.)

Having a baby doesn’t make you a different person, it makes you the same person living a different life. Why would you even want to keep everything exactly the same and as indistinguishable from pre-baby life as possible? You’re still the same person. There’s nothing to be scared of about living a different life. It’s a good thing.

*****

Hey, want to pretend for a second you’re interested in the diapers I bought yesterday because, okay, forget the charade that I buy them for Penny, I was having a bad day and wanted them.

Pictures from Nala’s Fluffy Bums

Actually, I only bought the top one yesterday, but the pirate one became available this morning, and my eyes were still all blurry, and these diapers are SO hard to get, and Penny already has two OTHER pirate diapers, which everyone knows is a perfect justification for buying a third of ANYTHING, because now it’s a COLLECTION.

These diapers are all-in-twos, or AI2s, which means that they have two pieces – a shell and a soaker, and the soaker usually snaps in to the diaper. The soaker is the absorbent piece. This is different from all-in-ones (AIOs) because in those, the soaker is sewn inside the diaper. It is different from what is called a fitted diaper, which can be constructed in the same way as AI2s or AIOs, but does not contain a waterproof layer, so require a waterproof cover to be worn over them. And, of course, also different from pocket diapers, which are waterproof and have a pocket that you stuff with absorbent inserts.

Phil likes AIOs, because obviously they are the simplest to use, but they take for-ev-er to dry. Since the soakers in AI2s just snap in, and they don’t require any covering, I’m hoping he’ll like these. He’s always willing to do a diaper change, which is great, but he doesn’t have the same kind of memory as I do for which inserts work best in which pocket diapers, so I usually have to stuff a diaper for him to use anyway.

*****

Penny is closing in on four months old now, and we are dying to get her to laugh, but she seems to be channeling Mandy Moore’s Scrubs character.

“Penny! Penny! Hey, Penny! Poop!”

“That’s so funny.”

“Butts! Farts! Funny face.”

“That’s sooo funny.”

“Tickle! Chick-a chick-a chick-a chick-a TICKLE!”

“That’s so funny.

“GODDAMNIT BABY, LAUGH.”

“That’s so funny.”

She’s SO CLOSE to laughing that I’ve stopped trying to make her laugh when Phil isn’t here, so that he doesn’t miss it. Of course, this leads to the two of us hunched over her, making total assholes of ourselves, while she just stares and occasionally graces us with a goofy smile and an ALMOST LAUGH.

Seriously, we are making TOTAL ASSHOLES of ourselves.

*****

The picture for Penny’s birth announcements was taken when she was eight weeks old (oops), the actual announcements arrived when she was about 10 weeks old (oops) and the last of them went out when she was 14 weeks old (damn it).

This is what they look like:

I have a pile of them left (okay, and three left to send out, shut up). So, just like my incredibly large stack of lady-part ultrasound pictures (WHY did they think we not only needed to see it, but needed a labeled picture EVERY SINGLE WEEK?), I am left with a bunch of Penny paraphernalia that is useless, but not quite suitable for the trash.

I’m going to go hand them out on some sleazy street corner, I think, so when you get one, you look down, ready to pitch a flier for a strip club or bad comedy show right into the trash, and you’re like, “Whoa, a baby! That’s unexpected!” and then you throw it in the trash, and your day is just ever so slightly better, either from the unexpected baby OR from the one fewer strip club flier you are forced to gaze upon because you’re too polite to say “No, thanks!” to the flier people.

“Here, you throw this away.” — Mitch Hedberg

Things I did this weekend: camp applications, Harry Potter, argued about toilet paper.

Let me tell you a little bit about what I did this weekend, but first, you should know this – AS I TYPE, Penny is having her first real nap. You know, the kind of nap where I deliberately PUT HER DOWN for a nap. Not in her little baby chair when she feels like sleeping, not in her swing because she’s been crying and crying and I don’t know what else to do. In her little Penny bed, swaddled up, at a time decided upon BY ME. For the first time.

EVIDENCE:

After taking, watermarking, and uploading that picture, I realize that you probably would have taken my word for it. I should have let you take my word for it, because I waited until two hours in to said nap to start writing this post. I spent the rest of the time tiptoeing down the hall and peering around the door frame. Baby naps are such an unproductive waste of my time.

Also, have I said enough times yet that Penny’s blanket was sent to her by Rhy?

Or that it has seen her through a lot? Or that Rhy has a yarn store right here? (Which I was just looking at and realized that we probably lived, like, 8 minutes apart before I came out here to AZ.) Or that we call it Special Blanket? As in, “Where’s Special Blanket? She needs Special Blanket.”

Anyway, all of those things.

So. This weekend.

*****

Decided to start the process of getting the dogs interviewed and approved to hang out at Camp Bow Wow.

Guess who apparently was not impressed with our plans?

Well, too bad, Sheldon, because you are going to the freaking camp and YOU WILL PLAY, because any weekend that sees me shrieking at the top of my lungs,

“STOP IT STOP IT STOPITSTOPITSTOPIT YOU GUYS HAVE GOTTEN SO RUDE I SWEAR I AM GOING TO CALL CESAR MILAN AND YOU ARE GOING TO GET WHISPERED YOU ARE GOING TO GET WHISPERED SO FUCKING HARD.

is pretty much a come to Jesus moment about the dogs and their need for exercise or at least TIME AWAY FROM ME.

*****

Packed up to scale Everest.

I KID. Obviously. Because, HA.

That’s all the stuff we packed to take Penny to her first movie – Harry Potter at the drive in!

She clearly loved it, as you can tell. Do we count that as her first movie, or is her first “official” movie one where we take a small yet conscious child to sit in a seat for an hour and a half and shush her through a stupid movie we don’t even want to see in the first place?

Not important. What’s important? I loved it. It went so fast, though, didn’t it? I mean, I know there was a lot to cover in the last book, but man. It just blew by. Like any other fan, I would have been pleased as all hell for them to go into all kinds of crazy detail and gone to part 3, part 4, part one jillion. Seriously, I could happily watch Harry Potter for as long as they want to draw it out. Except, they aren’t drawing it out. So. It’s over.

BUT, back to the movie. Snape, you guys. Right? RIGHT?

*****

This is where Penny finally woke up, I went and got her, fed her, changed her, dressed her, put her in her baby chair, went to the kitchen, stood in front of the stove where a diet soda cake is hanging out, and ate some cake with a fork right out of the pan.

Like you’ve never.

Don’t worry, I’m cancelling it out with some frozen grapes.

That reminds me, though, of my first real experience with the SO SO SO SO SO HUNGRY phase of pregnancy, when one morning, AFTER I ate a granola bar and a banana, and WHILE my waffle was in the toaster, I stood in front of the same stove, where some brownies were hanging out, and ate some. By fist. I was so frantically, panic-ly hungry that I ate brownies by the fistful during the seemingly unending Eggo toasting process.

I don’t have pregnancy as an excuse right now, but I do have a serious case of don’t feel like getting a plate.

******

I did not buy another adorable pirate-themed fitted diaper this weekend.

But I did get the one I bought last weekend in the mail.

*****

Penny learned to stick out her tongue and hasn’t stopped since, which is adorable, until you are the one returning her pacifier to her mouth every 5 minutes between 10pm and 2am.

In case it wasn’t clear, I am the one. I am the one who is returning the pacifier to her mouth every 5 minutes between 10pm and 2am.

*****

Lastly, the toilet paper argument was once again rehashed.

The toilet paper issue, you see, is two-fold.

First, we can’t seem to agree who is at fault for the fact that we go through nearly an entire roll of toilet paper per day.

Maybe if you didn’t need to roll a 3 inch thick catcher’s mitt of toilet paper around your hand every time you used the bathroom, we wouldn’t have this problem.”

“First, I don’t make a poo-mitt. Second, YOU PEE FIFTY TIMES A DAY.”

Second, we can’t agree on when it is time to change the roll. I’m here alone, and I keep the toilet paper supply at an adequate level for my anticipated needs. Even if that means just leaving one or two rotations of paper on the roll until my next visit. (WHICH IS SO NOT FIFTY TIMES A DAY.) Phil doesn’t like this, though. He thinks that I should ANTICIPATE that he might arrive home sometime between the last time I went and the next time I’ll go. Therefore, since he MIGHT arrive, toilet paper levels should be keep adequate for HIS NEEDS at all times.

This has lead to a lot of him coming home, grabbing PC Gamer, heading into his lair, and huffing back out mere moments later to glower at me as he grabs a fresh roll. I inevitably bellow back at him, “THERE IS PLENTY OF TOILET PAPER IN THERE.”

I know what you’re thinking. Men and women have different toilet paper needs (Phil did not, at first, know that even if a diaper is only wet, areas must still be wiped down well, though who would really expect him to), and I should maybe go ahead and change the roll if there are only a few inches left, even if those few inches are adequate for me. You’re siding with Phil.

Except, no. Because this is what PHIL considers to be an inadequate amount of toilet paper left on the roll, necessitating a roll change as soon as I become aware, by all of the lights and sirens, that we have reached DEF CON LEVEL toilet paper emergency situations:

DOES THIS LOOK LIKE AN EMERGENCY TO YOU?

Anyway, we’ve made no progress on this argument since the last time I told you about it over a year ago, so there’s really no reason for me to include it here, except that I feel like you guys deserve updates on things you’ve taken the time to read. Just a service I like to provide.

So, to sum up:

UpdatePhil still ridiculous about toilet paper.

7 things you need to cloth diaper that aren’t cloth diapers.

First, two points:

1. I put the words “cloth diaper” right there in the title twice so that I wouldn’t sucker any of you people who are SO NOT INTERESTED IN CLOTH DIAPERS SHUT UP ABOUT CLOTH DIAPERS into reading words that don’t apply to or interest you in any fashion. So. If you proceed past this point and complain, you will be pointed at, and then laughed at. Because, come on.

2. Let’s address the word “need” here right off the bat. I’m using the word “need” in the way that normal people use “need.” You know, in a basically standard but non-completely literal sense. The way that people who don’t have blogs get to use the word “need.” Okay? I’m using it in the non-blogger fashion. I know that YOU didn’t neeeeeed any of this stuff and that I’m just ridiculous with all my highfalutin baby gear, and YOU just neeeeeeded a running stream and a couple of rocks. I’m sure there’s a medal waiting for you in Heaven, the Spartan Sector. Really. But I’m using “need” here as in, “I’ve found these items necessary, and you might as well.”

Moving on. Seven things you need to cloth diaper that aren’t cloth diapers.

1. A cloth diaper safe butt cream.

While rashes do tend to appear less often with cloth diapers than disposable for MOST (I hate you, Internet, for making me qualify every damn thing ever) kids, they do still happen. And you can’t put A&D or Desitin or Triple Paste or whatever ass spackle you like best on your kid when she’s wearing a cloth diaper. It will not cause you extra hassle, it will not be a difficult situation, it will ruin the diaper. Well, not ruin if you’re willing to go through an elaborate process of boiling and washing with Dawn over and over and over, but — yeah, ruined. Don’t do it.

Personally, we use coconut oil. It’s a solid oil with a low melting point, so you scoop a little out of the jar and it melts right on your fingers. Then you apply it to the buttular area. It’s a good skin protectant and will help cure minor rashes as well.

When I was out looking for coconut oil, I found this:

This is not what you are looking for.

There are a lot of options out there. You don’t have to use coconut oil. If you do, though, some of them have no smell and some will conjure up images of tropical vacations and baby butts. So. Your choice.

2. Fleece liners.

Fleece liners to go inside of your diapers because of exactly the opposite of what I just said. Sometimes there are rashes that tropical fruits (nuts? what?) cannot cure. And you will need/want to use the heavy duty butt cream. So you’ll need to either put your kid in disposable diapers until the rash cures (which is a bit backwards, if you ask me, which you didn’t), or you can put down a fleece liner to keep the cream off the actual diaper. I use Bummis.

Another benefit of fleece liners is that while fleece is not waterPROOF, it is water RESISTANT and also pulls moisture away from its surface with pressure. So, if you have a kid who is especially sensitive to being wet at all, as in will shriek at the merest hint of dampness, fleece liners can help you extend nap time by providing more of a dry feeling.

You do have to change cloth diapers more often than disposable because they don’t hold the moisture away from the skin as much as disposable does, and I definitely don’t advocate delaying diaper changes, but naps. Come on.

ALSO? Fleece liners are… ahem. Non-stick. Not so much for breastfed baby business, but when your kid starts being a little more solid in her production? A fleece liner will allow you to shake the mess off right into the toilet. So. There’s that.

3. Cloth wipes.

If you’re going to cloth diaper, just go for the full buy in with cloth wipes. If you’re cloth diapering for cost benefits or environmental benefits, it’s a no brainer. If you have other reasons, you should still use cloth wipes because of the convenience of just throwing everything into the laundry together. Phil has finally converted over to cloth wipes, not because he wants to, but because I just didn’t bother to keep track of his disposable wipe needs and he can never remember to keep track himself. I’m happy he switched because I have fished several disposable wipes out of the washer, and that is ridiculous.

I got my cloth wipes on Etsy. They’re cute. You can also cut up receiving blankets or baby towels or t-shirts or use cheap baby washcloths. Whatever. Get some cloth. Wipe butts with it.

4. Squirty bottles.

Cloth wipes need to be wet. You can do this in any of a thousand different ways. Wet a wipe in the sink whenever you need one. Keep water by the changing station. Keep damp wipes in a plastic baggie or in an empty disposable wipes box or go fancy with a wipe warmer. We use squirt bottles. Sometimes I squirt the wipe, sometimes I squirt Penny’s butt, and then yell “BUTT PUCKER! BUTT PUCKER!” until she starts smiling like a loon.

Loon.

Your squirt bottles could have water in them, or you can buy concentrated wipes solutions in all kinds of scents from places like Etsy – here’s a good shop. A lot of diaper brands also sell their own line of butt wash as well. Personally, I make our cloth wipes solution. There are recipes all over the Internet, but it’s basically mostly water, a touch of baby soap, and some kind of oil.

I even have a travel squirty bottle for the diaper bag, but it’s empty now because a few days ago we came home and there was this ENORMOUS YELLOW JACKET on the door knob and I had to jump in bravely and squirt him away.

5. Toilet sprayer.

A toilet sprayer attaches to the toilet and is super easy to install. It sprays. Not everyone uses one of these, but we do. Some people dunk and swish their diapers in the toilet, some people have utility sinks, and some people don’t rinse at all, especially for exclusively breastfed babies. Penny is exclusively breastfed so we don’t strictly need to rinse, but… ah… sometimes you just want to anyway. Rinsing can help prevent staining, and maybe just also make you feel better about that diaper sitting until your next washing.

In the future, into solid food, again, still not strictly necessary, but you WILL need to rinse off/scrape/clean your diapers in some way before they go in the washer at that point in your kid’s digestive life, and we’ve decided on a sprayer. We use the BumGenius one, but there are others and you can even rig up your own if you’re talented with with hardware store type activities.

6. Cloth diaper safe laundry detergent.

Everyone has one they swear by, but to be honest, it comes down to what your water is like and what your wash routine is like and some other kind of magic invisible factors that lead to a lot of trial and error. Pick the wrong detergent and you will have the “stinkies” (actual thing!) or problems with repelling, which is pretty much exactly what you don’t want with a diaper.

Right now, we use Charlie’s. It smells terrible (cat pee) in the bottle, but smells like nothing on clean clothes/diapers. What should you use? No earthly idea. You’ve just got to screw around with it until you find what works. This may be the first one you try, or it may involve a lot of angst and Internet searches. Good luck to you, intrepid launderer.

7. Bags

You’re not going to want to use one of those fancy diaper pail jobbers because the last thing you really want is a plastic sausage casing of poop-filled diapers you intend on using again. Yeah, good idea. Wrap it in plastic. Let’s keep it fresh.

Anyway, you need bags. You can get a hanging bag, which I think is pretty cool – FuzziBunz makes one, and it’s just like an old fashioned, non-automatic diaper pail straight out of 2002, without the actual can. Personally, I use a Planet Wise  pail liner and had every intention of buying a pail to line, but I didn’t. The bag either sits in the laundry room or the bathroom, depending on situations. It’s a great bag, though. Super sturdy and well made and does great in the wash. When Penny fully moves into her own bedroom (when I put my bed in the living room), I will probably get a pail, because it seems disrespectful to her to go into her room and throw gross diapers on her floor.

I also have two travel size bags as well. I don’t care for them, because they have drawstrings and I’d rather have zippers, and they also haven’t held up too well in the wash. I don’t care for mine, but I do care for the smaller bags in general. We keep one in our bedroom at night so we don’t have to get up and walk to the non-pail, and obviously I carry one in the diaper bag when we go out. This is another thing you can buy on Etsy if you want. Go for zippers, though.

So. Aside from, you know, cloth diapers, those are the things I use for cloth diapering. If you’ve got something else to recommend, I’d love to hear it, because I’m in that early stage of parenting that basically totally revolves around my kid’s butt.


Sudden assumptions of special powers, Etsy, and I’m sweatier than I wanted to be today. Or ever.

You know what’s the worst? When you have a dream where someone you know dies. I don’t necessarily mean a dream where some ridiculous chain of events that could only take place in a dream lead to someone dying, but like one of those dreams where someone says to you, “Steve died,” or you go to Steve’s funeral or something like that. I’m saying something like a realistic death, one that could happen in real life, and it’s one of those dreams where you wake up and have to take a second to sort out what was real and what was a dream.

Here’s why it’s the worst – because even if in your WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE you have never exhibited anything even slightly resembling a super power or special skill, you will suddenly become convinced that you have ESP or some kind of predictive power or the ability to make things HAPPEN.

So you have this dream and you wake up, and you (okay, me) are convinced – just CONVINCED – that one of three things is now true.

1. The person died for real and you were made aware of it in a dream. Because you have magical brain powers that let you know what’s happening on the other side of the country.

2. The person is ABOUT TO DIE and you can see the future. So you know it’s coming. And there’s nothing you can do. Because you suddenly developed a way to see the future by, I don’t know, standing too close to the microwave?

3. The person is about to die and it will be YOUR FAULT because you DREAMED IT INTO LIFE. Way to go.

Yeah. Those dreams are just the freaking worst.

*****

Can I show you some Etsy shops I found lately that I like? My PayPal account is empty at the moment, and I try to restrict certain kinds of purchases to PayPal funds only, because it’s basically pretend money, so I’m perfectly okay being a little frivolous with it. Because it’s pretend. Never mind that I usually get paid through PayPal and that money represents hours of work on some of the most mind-numbing things possible (in a boring way, or in a self-protective way, because I was once asked to write an article for a company and instructed to use a certain keyword repeatedly and I had to numb my brain to be able to do it with any sense of professionalism and seriousness. That keyword phrase was “the ropes.” I can’t bring myself to explain further than that. I wrote about “the ropes.” And then considered the money I earned to be “pretend.”)

Moving on, my PayPal account is empty of pretend funds at the moment, largely because of purchases like this:

Yes, it’s a pirate diaper, but I already TOLD YOU – pretend money.

Just because my PayPal account is empty, though, doesn’t mean I can’t encourage/enable you to spend some money on Etsy. And also to remind you that my birthday is in December. And I’m going to be 30. So it’s kind of a big deal.

First? This shop called seworiginal. I’m not super girly myself – I don’t mean that in the way that women say when they’re telling you how much better they get along with guys because they’re not the typical girl oh my god, we all started seeing through that shit by the end of high school – but I’m girly enough. I like to wear make up. I enjoy wearing pretty clothes. I am mostly lazy, though, and enjoy casual bum looks. However, I am ALL ABOUT girling up Penny. I always prefer to put her in a dress or something extra frilly. And this shop? FULL OF DRESSES.

(picture from seworiginal)

This dress is even CALLED the PENELOPE DRESS.

There’s a couple of different dress styles, all in different patterns. I could make Penny an entire wardrobe of Penelope dresses. Or, you know, you could make one for your kid.

Or? Or? How about some throw pillows? For your nerd house? You can get some at Craftsquatch.

CAN YOU STAND IT?

I’ve actually just found myself in the market for some throw pillows, because get this – I hate my couch SO GODDAMN HARD that I am throwing it away and replacing it with my bed.

Not me and Phil’s bed. I have my own bed. Not that I sleep in, but that belongs to me, because I existed before I moved in with Phil. It’s in the guest room, which is actually Penny’s room now. I need the bed gone so it can be Penny’s room, and I need the couch gone because it can go RIGHT TO HELL, so. Win-win. Bed-couch. Whatever. I’m putting my bed in the living room, don’t sit on it if it bothers you so damn much.

I know I first heard of this one through Miss Zoot’s blog – EvieTees. I can’t even pick a favorite to show you, but you should look at these things:

– I was going to make a list here, but found myself listing EVERYTHING IN THE STORE. Seriously. Next time I have some pretend money, I’m buying myself something from that store, which is SAYING SOMETHING, because I hardly ever buy myself things. I just carry them around stores for a while and eventually talk myself out of buying them. This is probably why I still own and wear t-shirts I got at Goodwill in the 10th grade and items that proudly proclaim me to be a member of the Class of 2000. If I didn’t, I’d be naked. Phil was blown away the first time we went to Carter’s and I marched to the counter with an armload of clothes for Penny, because I NEVER ACTUALLY BUY anything. But I will. From this shop.

It’s so funny to go back through my Etsy favorites. Mostly baby stuff, then a ton of wedding stuff, then a ton of super cute stuff I never bought back before I was even with Phil, back when I thought I was the type of person who could actually pull off adorable clothes and home decor, not the type of person in an “I EAT NOOBS” hoodie who is about to put a bed in her living room.

*****

There was going to be another thing here, but Sheldon jumped the fence (SEE? TOLD YOU HE DOES THAT.) and I had to get him from the neighbor’s yard and I’m wearing an “I EAT NOOBS” hoodie because it’s 68 degrees in here but it’s over 100 out there.

Even though I was about to say something unbelievably touching, insightful and brilliant, something that would stick with you all day and well into the rest of the week, something you’d find yourself reflecting on over and over throughout your life, long after you’ve stopped reading this blog because you’re just fucking sick of me, I’m too sweaty and pissed off and covered in leash burn to deal with it, so here’s a picture of Penny.

And then here’s a bonus picture of Penny, for your trouble:

Being good at things, a thing Phil does wrong, and dalmatian underpants.

I was thinking today what it must be like to be really good at something you really enjoy. Or maybe not even really good. How about just good enough to acknowledge that you’re good at it. Whichever. I’m pretty sure that the Venn diagram of things I am really good at and things I really enjoy are two distinct circles completely separated by an ocean of apathy and mediocrity.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate that you can enjoy things without being good at, and of course there are virtues in being good at things you don’t necessarily enjoy. I just think that maybe being really good at something you really enjoy adds a little bit to life in general.

Also, don’t get me wrong this way, either – I’m not saying I don’t like my life or getting all Eeyore and saying I’m not good at anything. I’m good at plenty of things. And I like plenty of things. It’s just that Column A does not share any items with Column B. I don’t think that affects life negatively. I just think that being good at something I enjoy doing would probably affect life positively. Do you know what I’m saying?

I just wonder what that’s like, that’s all. And I’m not wondering in a sighing, wistful way where you’re supposed to feel bad for me and my miserable, unskilled ways. I’m wondering. Like people wonder about things. The normal way. Like, “Hey. Japan. I bet living there is different.”

*****

Speaking of getting all defensive about people’s assumptions about how I feel about my life, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting all defensive about people’s assumptions about how I feel about my life.

Look, Internet, post-partum depression is a crazy serious thing. Crazy serious. And there should be all kinds of support systems in place for women who are suffering from post-partum depression and all women who have had a baby should be made aware of those support options and we should all know what signs to watch for and we should all know that it’s okay to speak up.

But look. Sometimes I don’t want to preface my irrational rage with, “I don’t have PPD but GET THIS GODDAMN BABY OUT OF MY FACE.” Or, “Look, I’m not depressed, but I need to go in the bedroom, turn off the lights, and not hear any human made sounds for, like, the next 45 hours.”

PPD happens to some women, but it doesn’t happen to all women, and I’m kind of a little sick of having every action and mood change and eyeball twitch viewed through the lens of “lady who just had a baby.” I was prone to random fits of rage and leave-me-the-hell-alone-itis BEFORE Penny came along. Why would it all suddenly be baby hormone related now? Was I supposed to turn into some nurturing ball of sunshine as soon as they lifted that shriek box out of the big ol’ garage door they surgically installed into my belly area, thus anything NON-sunshiney must be some kind of dangerous aberration?

If you spill your coffee on someone and she snaps at you and you say, “Oh, wow, PMS, huh?,” you’re being a LITTLE BIT UNFAIR. The same goes for suggesting my every emotion is a flapping red flag the size of my enormous underpants, surely indicating the onset of PPD. “Your face is really red and you’re screaming a lot of words I didn’t even know existed. I think you need to consider that you might need to be checked for PPD.”

I think YOU need to consider that a tiny person KICKS ME IN THE GUTS all night long, refuses to sleep out of gut-kicking range, and only ever stops long enough for me to fall asleep before delivering another kick, aimed with deadly accuracy right at my surgical garage door. Maybe I am just LEGITIMATELY CHEESED OFF.

I’m going to come kick you in the garage door all damn night and then calmly, so calmly as though I’m afraid you might explode, tell you that you’re probably only mad because you got your hair cut today, and that you should seek help, because it’s not normal to be kind of furious after you didn’t get any sleep because I kicked you in the garage door all night. Stop being ridiculous.

*****

BEFORE YOU SUGGEST THAT I SWADDLE MY BABY, you should know that Penny stopped enjoying being swaddled about a month ago.

AND YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW that I swaddled her anyway last night.

She cried, but then she slept for almost four hours, had a short wake up for feeding and changing, and slept for another four hours. She laid between us in a tiny No Blankets Land and nary a kick was felt.

All hail the return of the swaddle.

*****

SWAAAAAAAAAADDLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEE!!!!!”

*****

So, you know how they say that once you’re married (or you live with someone), that’s when you really start to notice the little things? I think they even sometimes advise that you live with someone before you get married (some of they advise that – other parts of they do not, and I make no judgement as to which part of they you may be nor note which part of they I am, but I was pregnant at my own wedding, so, you know). Because, as you probably know, it’s really hard to see the little things when you’re just dating – getting all niced up before you see each other and going out to some third location that is not your home or his home. Once you live together, you’re not always niced up and all the little habits come out.

The theory behind saying this is that once you live together, you’ll see all these little things – weird habits or annoying traits or strange methods – and these will be the things that you will have to decide if you can LIVE WITH FOREVER. Something that was cute when you were seeing each other on weekends is suddenly the WORST THING EVER and underpants on the floor are going to drive you to divorce.

Anyway, this is all preamble to say that living with and being married to Phil has shown me something that he does completely wrong. Are we going to get divorced over it? No. Are we going to fight about it? No. Well, not really. I mean, I do tell him that he does it wrong and he disagrees, but it’s not really fighting because he has no evidence to support his case.

It’s not even something that’s going to drive me crazy. It’s just that we’ve been together a little while now, and I’ve had the time to notice this method of his and plenty of time to inform him that he’s doing this thing totally incorrectly, and even more time, now, that is allowing me to tell YOU that Phil does something completely incorrectly.

Phil opens soda cans wrong. Observe – my can and his can.

HE HAS NO FOLLOW THROUGH!

No follow through, you guys! He brings me a can of soda, pre-opened for my enjoyment, and I get a mouthful of can-tabber-thing. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s incorrect. And not good.

On the up side, I can always tell which open soda is his and which is mine. Mine is the one you can drink from, and his is the what the hell.

*****

At the risk of being that parent who might need to maybe dial it back a bit, HOW HILARIOUS IS THIS DIAPER?

It’s pink. It’s fuzzy. It’s dalmatian print.

I laughed when I got this diaper in the mail, I laughed the first time I put it on her, and I laugh every time I go to change her diaper and find it under her pajamas.

Oddly enough, though, it – and another pattern I bought with it that is equally as fuzzy – is the best diaper we own. She wears them overnight. They have bamboo inserts and they don’t leak and keep her feeling dry for hours and hours. They’re squishy and soft on the inside, too. I call them her Luxury Underpants.

Come on, though. IT’S RIDICULOUS.

*****

“I’m not only the Swaddle Club for Babies spokesperson – I’m also a client.”