Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Most Precious Sea Otter In The World

You already had a sneak peek, but here is the real deal!

Monday night was trick-or-treating at our local downtown Main Street.  A line stretched around the block, people kept cutting in line, there were teenagers with bad attitudes, and it was all around a pretty lousy time.  But it was a good first run for the Sea Otter.  And the first time someone put candy in her Elmo bucket - watch out, we have created a serious candy monster here.

Most common question.  Is that a Beaver?

Thursday night was trick-or-treating at the Zoo.  I was totally thinking "okay, we'll go for a short while, hit a few stations, show off the costume, pick up some candy, get a few photos.  But then we'll leave.  We won't, like, walk the ENTIRE zoo or anything.  That's freaking crazy."

Only, there's one way in, and one way out, and they have ropes and characters and security to keep you moving in one direction.  Forward.  Ahead.  Through the Zoo.  The entire.  freaking.  zoo. 

It was also my mom's birthday, and I had asked if she wanted to go with us.  So I didn't bother to get the stroller from her and put in my car, since we'd be meeting up with her later.  Then later we were talking about logistics - the Wee One and I were already on the other side of the river at our respective schools, and she had a work appointment she needed to keep - so the Wee One and I end up at the zoo sans stroller.

Have I mentioned that the feet on the costume are too huge for words?  I mean, they are supposed to be completely and totally realistic, it is a certified Animal Planet Special Edition costume here.  But my girl who is still in size 3 shoes?  Can't walk in the damn thing.

I carried 21 pounds of Sea Otter through the entire zoo.

The zoo people all knew it was an Otter.  Noone even said Beaver.  Not even the Princesses.

Even the Peacock knew she was an Otter.  I think.  It was hard to tell.

Friday was her daycare trick-or-treating event at a nearby business.  It is a large company, and the departments had a contest to decorate booths in the large atrium.  The children visit there often for events like a Derby Parade.  The employees really get into it and look forward to the children coming.

When I got to the daycare to put her into her costume, she started screaming.  Seriously screaming.  As soon as I put her feet into the costume, she threw a fit like I had really never seen before.  I'm sitting in a room full of parents, her caregivers, and other children, and I really didn't know what to do.  I knew that what I should do was say to her that it was okay if she didn't want to wear her costume.  But I was embarassed about taking her to get candy if she wasn't in a costume.  And I didn't want to just leave.  I really struggled about it, but she kept screaming and refusing, so I just put her back into her outfit.  She at least wore the hood for a little while.  Then it came off too.

At least I had her in orange-and-black.  And seasonal Babylegs.

Saturday we went to see our Miss Lori for costume Quick Takes.  After Friday's episode I was really worried, but she put her costume on fine and let some photos be taken of her.

Sunday she was ready.  She could tell something big was going on.  I was cooking dinner - I had decided that our traditional Halloween dinner would be Bubble and Squeak, and it wasn't going well at the stove - but she was READY.  She brought me her shoes, then a diaper, then some socks, and finally her coat.  I got the idea she wanted to head out the door.  So I packaged up her costume, two flashlights, and the potatoes-and-cabbage-that-wasn't-frying and we headed to Nan and Grandpa's.

My mother actually said (after two glasses of chocolate wine) that she admits that the Sea Otter costume did end up being pretty cute.  I am SO glad that I went with it.  I saw tons of ladybugs and kitties and even some cute frogs, but I have yet to see another Sea Otter this year.  Even if we did see one, it would have been impossible to be this cute!

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Candy

We now have Halloween Candy at my house, after Monday night and a Thursday night events.  (My plan is to post all the photos at once so you're not stuck with Sea Otter for 6 days straight).  By the time we make it to Sunday we may not even bother with the actual Trick or Treating through the neighborhood. 

I'm now faced with an ethical dilemma.

Do I eat my child's Halloween Candy?

She's 18 months old, most of what's in there I wouldn't give her (I'm not going to watch her choke on Sixlets).  She has had one piece at the end of each of the events, and the rest is out of her sight so I don't even know if she realizes it's still around.

I would really hate it if I went to bed and woke up and my mom had eaten all my candy.  It would totally piss me off, and it would probably make me lose trust.  I don't want that to happen over a stupid bag of candy.  But it's not stupid when you're a kid.

But she's one.

So, I have eaten the Tootsie Rolls, two small candy bars, and a York pattie.

And I totally feel guilty about eating her candy!

So ... do you eat your kid's Halloween Candy?  Do they seem to hate you for it?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


There's a woman in this world who knows me better than anyone.  She knows most of my secrets, she knows most of my hopes and dreams and desires.  She is at the other end of the phone anytime I call (except when her phone is dead and she can't find the charger.)

She has been through alot in the time that I have known her.  She's had some health issues.  She forgets things sometimes because she has had a few strokes.  Sometimes its annoying, but mostly it's fun because you can listen to how the story changes a little every time she tells it.

I've known her as long as I can remember.  She is the polar opposite of me.  She: social, outgoing, uncomfortable if there isn't someone around to talk to and laugh with.  Me: antisocial, reclusive, happiest when left alone to think.

So how did we end up together?

She's my momma, and I love her.  That's how.

And today is her birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Also see the post on The Three Jo's and the wee one's Baptism for more great Nan photos!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old School

I didn't start blogging until February when my daughter was already 10 months old.  I regret that.

So here's a throwback post.  This video is from probably late June 2009, when she was almost three months old.  (Turn your audio down, I was talking right behind the camera in goofy baby-ese.  But not down too low, she makes some cute grunts and stuff.)

Baby Loves Mommie from mommy v on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CTT: What's Your Favorite Diaper Brand?

Welcome to Cloth Tushie Tuesday! (Better late than never, I suppose!)  This week we are asking all our friends: What is your favorite diaper brand?  Be sure to go see Ms. Funky Mama Bird's post - she has some news you may be interested in.  (Hint: FREE DIAPERS.  Nuff said.)

My post today is probably going to surprise you.  I'm going to write about Flip covers.  This is my new love.  Also, this is all I have photos of.  When we wear our Thirsties diapers they have to be covered in pants, or else we end up with this:

And see that cup of juice on the floor right behind her?  That's why I have to try to keep a diaper on her if I can.

So, the Flip.  Reviewed for your pleasure recently.  But I'll tell you, this is the diaper we use all the time now.

In a Flip cover (color: Sweet) while "helping" Mommie in the kitchen.

More kitchen "helping".

I use the incredible inserts from Twinkletoes diapers, which are nice and absorbent, and also SO easy to pack in the diaper bag.

They work great with prefolds too, which I love.  There's just something about a big stack of "real" diapers that makes you feel like a momma.  Oh, the oatmeal on your pants, that too.

But of course, you know I have to talk about Thirsties too.

Thirsties Duo Wraps come in snaps.  However, they came out with these after I had way too many size Medium and Duo velcro covers (not to mention the request to review the Flip system.)  If I was cover shopping, these are the covers I would buy.  They also now make an insert with a stay-dry top so that you can do an insert-and-cover system that's just like the Flip.

I haven't even seen these in real life, so I'm now raving about a diaper that I have never even laid hands on, let alone used.  However, I use the Duo Diapers every single freaking day, since they are the workhorse of our daycare stash.  The insert to the Duo Diaper has a thin microfiber layer and a thin hemp/cotton layer snapped together.  This makes for some serious pee holding.  Since the stay-dry insert is the same with a soft cozy layer on top, I can't imagine that it wouldn't work fantastically well.

Or just buy the awesomely fantastic inserts from Twinkletoes diapers.  Those I have used, and I can tell you that they're awesome.

Takeaway: if someone bought you some Flips for a baby shower gift, keep them, they're great, you love them.  However, if you're out shopping for an insert-and-cover system, get the Thirsties.  Because, you know, leg gussets and hemp.

And don't listen to the stupid Bumgenius people who tell you leg gussets actually make diapers leak.  Seriously? 

So, what's your favorite cloth diaper brand?  Write a post, link up below, grab the button ... it's a party!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sneak Peek

 I got it.   Thanks for helping to convince me that it would be okay.

Just out of the box:

It's a little creepy when you turn it over and there's a face there.

She loves it!

She's putting on the hood!

It fits!

My mom still wants to put a big pink bow on the ear so everyone will know she's a girl.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Contrary to the two previous posts, this isn't really a recipe blog. 

So more posts about my girl!

Some cute stuff to make you happy this weekend, while we go to music class, play bunco, and go to a cookout.  And that's just today!

Really it's the first 30 seconds that are cute.  The rest is just her being "done".

Untitled from mommy v on Vimeo.

Mung Bean Soup

This is a recipe that I made up as I went along, modeled after one I found here, which came from a Whole Foods cookbook anyway.

I love the way mung beans look in the bulk bins.  I had bought some the last time I was at Whole Foods (you know, when you buy way too much stuff you don't have any clue how to cook and fantasize the whole time about being the crunchiest mom on the block.  Then you get home and let it all spoil or languish while you eat brownies and take-out?)

So when I started Project Vegetarian, I knew I wanted to use these mung beans.  I looked up a whole bunch of recipes.  In my head, though, I had this picture of just chopping up a bunch of veggies, cooking the beans, and mixing it all together.  And that's what I did.

No amounts here, folks.  You can see in the photos how much is there.  There was a little more beans than veggies, which worked out fine since I wanted it to be like "Mung Beans with Vegetables", but next time I'd use a little more veggies.

I had about a half a cup of mung beans.  I put them in a bowl of water to rinse them.  None floated to the top as "duds" so I didn't remove any.  I thought they all looked great. 

I drained that water, then put them in a large pot with 4 times their volume in water.  I got that ratio from a little booklet on bulk foods that I picked up from Wild Oats a long time ago.  Obviously, since they haven't been around for a while.  Then that didn't look like enough water, and the other recipe said five cups, so I added another cup.  It was perfect. 

I brought them to a boil and then turned the burner down to simmer.  I started the timer for 30 minutes, since I had a toddler clinging to my leg crying.  At the end, the beans were just a bit shy of done, so I let the remaining soup simmer for 10 more minutes while we ate and they were perfect.  If you have the time, and no clingy toddler, set your timer for 40 minutes.

After they had been cooking about 15 minutes, I added some diced baby carrots.  I like my carrots to be really cooked, so that's why I wanted to add them to the cooking beans, rather than just saute with the other veggies.  You choose.  Also I added some coriander to the cooking beans.  I've never used coriander before, so just a few sprinkles.  I could have used a touch more, but it was still good.

Meanwhile, chop veggies.  First green onions.

Then a vidalia onion and some some garlic.  I had a sous chef.  It's wonderful to have a personal assistant in the kitchen, isn't it?

Saute in a pan with a little olive oil.

A large tomato, chopped.  5 good-sized mushrooms, chopped.  After the onions were translucent, add these to the pan since they don't need much time to cook at all.

When the timer went off on the 30 minutes for the beans, I added the sauteed veggies to the bean pot.  Also added some chopped cilantro, mixed it all together.

I let it simmer for 5 more minutes while I set the table.  At this point the toddler-o-meter was reaching Meltdown stage, so I was grabbing bowls and cups and singing "dinner's almost ready, honey".  15 minutes would have been a better simmer, but I didn't have that.

It was very yummy.  I didn't take photos of the bowls, since we just dug in.  I did top with just a smidge of shredded monterey jack cheese.  The Wee One loves cheese, so in case she was horrified at the mung beans she might still eat if there was cheese on top.  And I figured my system would go into utter shock at the healthiness of the meal, so I buffered it with cheese.

The sous chef enjoyed her dish immensely.

I had enough to freeze some and also save a bowl to take for my lunch the next day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lactation Cookies

Serifm had her baby!  A beautiful boy, a perfect delivery (what's that?), they're doing great.  In honor of the news, I decided I'd make her some Lactation Cookies last night to take to her.  Only I forgot to add the oats.  So they just reeeeeeeeeeallly taste like flaxseed.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing

(Original recipe here.)

Lactation Cookies

Cream together:
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups ground flax seeds

Stir in:
3 cups flour - whole grain is best to use
4 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 cups rolled oats (2 cups mixes in better)

Add 1 cup chocolate chips, or toffee pieces, or whatever.

If mixture is too dry, add some olive oil.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

They work well - I got 4 more ounces the first time I pumped after eating some.  A good friend swears by them also.

It's the flaxseed and the brewer's yeast that help with milk production.  The old wives tale that drinking a beer will help with your milk?  It totally works because of the same principle.  The DHA supplement that is recommended during pregnancy and especially breastfeeding?  Flaxseed is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA.

My most recent piece of advice:  Don't eat these if you're trying to stop your milk production because you're weaning your toddler.  I ate one last night ... leaking all over the place today.  Bad idea.

After I discovered that they work so well, I had decided that every baby shower I went to after that, I'd bake a batch and take the recipe.  What a great gift!  Only they're pretty much a pain in the butt to make because of all the mixing.  I thought it was too easy last night, then when they were in the oven I realized I forgot to add the oats.

Also, not every expectant mother is planning to breastfeed, so when you present them with cookies designed to help them increase their milk supply, you might get teased, if you're in the wrong crowd.

But they seem to work.  And what better way to celebrate the arrival of a new baby than to bake the momma some cookies?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vegetarian with Kids, a How-To

My first guest post!  That means I'm a BIG TIME blogger, right?  It just means that FINALLY there was something that I knew other people could write about better than me!

There are people that come into your lives and stay forever.  There are people that you don't speak to for months or even years, and then the next time you see them you just pick up where you left off.  Our mothers are the best of friends, her two sisters live right down the street, and I have (somewhere) a crazy photo of her from the last day of 5th grade.

And now I get to introduce her to you!  Without further ado, my friend Jenny.

I’m here because MommieV had a dilemma. We have known each other since the dark ages, our single-digit years. I’ve always been a bit of a passionate cook, and over the years, she has seen me become a vegetarian, then a mom. Her plea to me was simple. “Every time I go to the store, I hesitate to buy meat. I don't like the idea of buying meat, of cooking meat. But then I stand there and think "what the heck am I going to feed her?" and then I end up feeding her junk food, because I really don't know how to cook without meat.” I can help. Here is a bit of my story:

Becoming a vegetarian was something that came naturally to me. I spent the first 30 years of my life trying to pretend like the food I was eating wasn’t made from dead animals. When I realized I could eat a perfectly healthy, guilt-free diet without having to resort to mind games, it was as if a switch had flipped. I transitioned overnight and have never considered eating meat since. Well, technically I do have a frequent low level ache for the taste of Chick-Fil-A nuggets with Polynesian sauce, but I digress. Generally, my brain simply no longer recognizes animals as food.

There are plenty of reasons that make vegetarian eating a good idea. I have no intention to go all animal-rights on anyone here because frankly, everyone knows the argument and either it speaks to you or it doesn’t. I do want to highlight several other benefits that make eating less or no meat appealing.

• It is good for you! On average, vegetarians have longer lives, slimmer bodies, better cholesterol and healthier hearts than meat-eaters.

• Meatless meals save money. Meat is expensive, grains are dirt cheap.

• It is good for the Earth. It takes far less energy to farm vegetables and grains that it does to process those same foods through animals for our consumption.

When I first stopped eating meat, vegetarianism felt like such a BIG FREAKING DEAL. How was I going to cook at home, let alone navigate restaurant menus or (gasp!!) eat as a guest at someone’s home? Undoubtedly, I have changed the way I cook at home, but for the better. I used to make a meat, side carb and a veggie. Nowadays, we have a lot of one-pot meals, which often means quicker preparation and fewer dishes to clean up. Meals out of the house are far less of a barrier than I had feared.

And then I became a mom. To a picky eater. And unbelievably, nothing really changed. It is astonishingly simple to eat a healthy, kid-friendly vegetarian diet. Protein isn’t a big deal. We eat beans, nuts and nut butters, tofu, soymilk , cheese, and yogurt, all of which pack a good protein wallop. Whole grains have a surprising amount of protein in them as well, especially quinoa, which actually contains more protein ounce for ounce than beans. Calcium and iron are plentiful in natural foods like greens and tofu, and also in fortified foods like soymilk and cereals. As long as you eat a variety of mostly whole foods and make an effort to add in lots of fruits and vegetables, you and those you feed will be getting a healthy, well-balanced diet.

In response to MommieV’s request, I compiled a list of recipes, many of which will come on a subsequent post. Before I post those, I want to share some of the pointers I have learned over my years as a mom who works outside of the house. Some of these apply specifically to eating vegetarian, but others are just simply about eating healthy meals when you are time-crunched.

• Spend 20 minutes a week and plan out your menu for the upcoming seven days. A plan gives you an outline to make your grocery list and keeps you from resorting to junk food because nothing sounds good after a busy day at work. Eliminate every possible opportunity for excuses as to why you can’t prepare a healthy meal.

• Make sure each meal has a protein, a grain and at least one veggie and/or fruit. I tend to start with the protein when planning. If I start with black beans, perhaps I’ll choose brown rice or quinoa, and then add in some diced red bell peppers and corn.

• Prep and cook ahead of time. I chop veggies the night before, cook grains ahead of time, use frozen vegetables, and recycle leftovers to make a whole new meal. Again, purge the excuses!

• Be sneaky with your vegetables. My 3-year-old and my 40-year-old are both veggie-averse, and half the time they don’t know that I have added chopped spinach and grated carrots to the marinara sauce, grated squash to the black bean burgers and finely chopped mushrooms to the lasagna.

• Challenge yourself to maintain variety. I love cookbooks and browse through my collection regularly. The library typically has a surprisingly robust collection of vegetarian cookbooks. My goal is to try one new recipe a week. Sometimes they are successful, sometimes they are a big fat bust, but over time I have built up a pretty large repertoire of recipe triumphs.

Jenny's next guest post will contain recipes and more how-tos for family meals.  Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I'll make sure we (and by "we" I really mean "she") get you some answers!

My Days

Nighttime is the only time that I have for myself.  In the morning, I'm up by 6.  Me ready, her ready, do we have everything?  Out the door at 7:15.  Quiet her fussing while we sit on the bridge in traffic (daily I wonder what the steps would be if the bridge collapsed.  Is everyone that fatalistic?)

I try to drop her off around 7:45, and that puts me on campus around 8:00.  Any earlier, and she has to go into a room with a teacher that's not her normal teacher, and I try to keep her dropoff as standard as possible.  Any later, and I don't feel prepared for 9:00 class.

Check email, deal with student stuff, what am I doing in class and the lab that is right after?  Do I have copies?  Is the quiz written?  Do I have enough Scantron forms?

Time enough for a tweet, then down the hall to the classroom.  Start the computer and the projector, while being mobbed with random questions - do they not understand this is not an appropriate time?  Open the file, start the slide show, is it 9:10?  Good, we can start.

Hour and 15 minutes of them trying to be engaged with detailed, difficult content.  Me: waving my arms trying to demonstrate molecules diffusing down their concentration gradient.  Them: trying not to look bored because they've tuned me out.

10:25.  End lecture, lab in 10 minutes down the hall.  Hit ESC to get out of the slide show, close powerpoint, eject the thumb drive, turn off the projector, log off the computer, erase the board, gather my notes.  If only it were really that simple, but I am again mobbed with people that don't understand that I have told them I don't have time for questions between lecture and lab.  It's usually the ones with an excuse why they have to miss lab, or can they turn something else in late, etc.  So I'm having to explain and enforce class policy while getting my shit together to get out of the room.

Dump the stuff from lecture on my desk to sort out later, because I grab the folder for lab just before my 10 minutes is up.  Lab sheets, model keys, a quiz.  Here's what you're doing today, I'll be around to help while you work on it.  I pace around the room, answering mundane (and occasionally inane) questions for two hours.  I now amuse myself, and try to teach them how to find the answers to their own questions, by doing the following.  Student: so how do I know what slides to look at today?  Me:  what does your lab handout say?  Student:  I don't know, I haven't read it yet.  (Looks at the lab sheet).  Oh, ok, that makes sense.  Another Student: Can you tell me what this part is?  And this part?  And this part?  And this part?  Me: Do you have a copy of the model key?  Student: Oh, is that what that is for?

12:35.  Lab is over, and the last students have filtered out.  Do I put models and slides away now, or run and get a bite to eat now and clean later?

Drive to get fast food lunch, because I'm definitely not the queen of brown bagging (I'm hoping that Project Vegetarian changes this).  Back to campus to clean off my desk, clean the lab, what's next?  Look at the to-do list.  Make calls, prepare for the next day, post stuff to Blackboard.  2:00 is Open Lab.  Usually there's just one or two students.  So, I have to be out there in the lab to help them.  When I was in the middle of getting something accomplished in my office that I'd like to finish.  I feel like this particular hour and a half is definitely a waste of time.  The students that are attending open lab so far this semester have been the upper level students anyway.  They don't need the extra time, they're doing fine in the class anyway.  The students that screw around during lab time, and probably need the extra open lab time?  Nowhere to be found.

3:30 Open Lab is over.  I have an hour to finish whatever I was working on, be sure to be prepared for the next day's class, and then I can go get the Wee One.

Listen to her cry back across the bridge because the late-day sun is in her eyes, she's asking for juice, and she'd rather NOT be strapped into her carseat for another 20 minutes.

Home - snack of juice and cheese while I fix dinner.  After dinner, she plays with her plastic stuff while I clean up (sort of).  Read a book, take a bath, bedtime routine.

She's asleep.  Now time to write whatever it is that I need to write for the class I'm TAKING.  Or do my mommy internet stuff.

I should go to bed.  But given that this is the only time in my entire life when there aren't huge demands hanging over my head, I think I'll sit at the computer and tweet and blog and read and write and facebook and attempt to relax a little.

So when does the tenure notebook get written, the college's safety manual get reviewed, and/or the local chapter of the Association of Women in Science (that I am supposed to be starting) get organized?  Not during these days, at any rate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Project Vegetarian

Announcing: Project Vegetarian.

Okay, tentatively announcing.

I don't know what I'm so worried about. I was a vegetarian in high school. I've done this before.

It's only about dinner to start with.  Breakfast and bedtime snack are already covered (bananas, oatmeal, and toast already fit the 'vegetarian').  She can eat whatever they serve her at daycare.  She can eat whatever they serve at Nan and Grandpa's.  At this point, I just don't want to buy and cook meat.  So, I won't.  And I'll see what I can do.

Other bloggers have written about meat-eating and their children.  So when I posted that a very dear friend of mine who eats vegetarian with her preschooler and gave me 5 pages of advice and recipes, requests came to share the info.  But since I'm the newbie and she's the Subject Matter Expert, I'm going to let her speak on the subject.  Look for a guest post soon on family vegetarian recipes, etc.

And now that I've told you all that I'm going to cook vegetarian meals ... I have a hankering for goulash.  Great.

A Reminder!

Wear purple today if you stand against gay bullying.  Or, bullying for any reason, I would think.  But the message I got on facebook said if you stand against gay bullying.  So that's our stand for today.  And the Wee One and I are both wearing purple.

Okay, I can't get into dressing up for Halloween, but I can get into dressing me and my child in purple because of some random posting on Facebook that told me to wear purple to express my beliefs?

I know, I know, I'm an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

But I'll have a photo to show you later, so there's that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cloth Tushie Tuesday - Confessions of a Cloth Diapering Mama

I seem to be back on track with Cloth Tushie Tuesday (scary, I know!)  Today is: Cloth Diaper Confessions!  Come on, Mama, 'fess up!

Here are some cloth diapering confessions:

1.  I have some regrets about the beginning of my cloth diapering journey.  I regret not cloth diapering from the beginning.  I know it's not a big deal, and it all worked out, but I still wish I'd tried harder to cloth diaper from the start.  I regret only taking three diapers with me to her newborn photo session.  (It was only supposed to last 45 minutes, I thought 3 was plenty).  I ended up running out because she peed, then pooped, then peed and my mom urged me to change her.  So I have photos of her in cloth and photos of her in sposies.  I should have at least put the cover over the sposie so you couldn't see it.  18 months later I still think about these things.

2.  I really love using prefolds and covers.  That's what I prefer using at home.  I don't know why - pockets are so much easier.  But even with a ton of pockets around here for daycare, I'll even sometimes put her in a prefold and cover to take her to daycare in the morning, or change her into a prefold and cover when I get home.

3.  I had two dozen too-small prefolds.  I have a good friend about to deliver a baby.  I had mentioned earlier that I would gift her my prefolds.  But when it came time to do that ... I didn't want to.  I compromised with myself and gave her half.  They're too small for my wee one, I'm not planning another ANYTIME soon, why hang on to stained prefolds?  And now what the heck is she going to do with only 12 prefolds?  But I just couldn't talk myself into letting go of all of them.

4.  Folding diaper laundry makes me feel like I've accomplished something that day.  Occasionally it does feel like a chore, and I have sometimes let them sit a day.  A load finished in the dryer on Sunday, and I didn't have the mental fortitude to deal with ANYTHING (did you see my venting post?).  But then I came home on Monday, folded them, stuffed them, put them away, and I feel like I can conquer the world!

5.  I covet diapers I don't need.  There are new prints for the GroVia diapers (which is a repackaged version of the GroBaby which I hated.)  I'm trying desperately not to buy one.  Or several.  What cute cute (two links) prints!  Rump-a-rooz just came out with new prints (scroll down to eco-owl).  And since people are buying alot of Thirsties Duo wraps, and not as many of their traditional diaper covers anymore, they just released two new prints in the sized covers (scroll down to see Baby Bird Lavendar).  I keep thinking "one more cover isn't a bad thing."  "$10 for a cover is okay, and I get free shipping."  But that RaR is over $20 and the GroVia cover only is $17.

I think that's about all I need to confess to right now!  Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest!  If you have a post and want to link up, click below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I'm not a "connected" kind of person.  I'm a loner.  I have social anxiety that ranges from mild to paralyzing denial.  Funny that I can stand in front of a room full of people and discuss the structure and function of various body systems and the physiological mechanisms of homeostasis, but I can't manage to have a simple conversation with a person without it turning moderately painful at some point, usually.

However, when you have a Wee One, particularly as a Single Mama, you have to be connected.  You can't do it alone, and it's unfair to your little one for you to even try.

The last couple of days I have felt amazingly connected to some pretty awesome people.  And it's made me ... wait for it ... HAPPY.

HAPPY.  I do things for them, they do things for me, and it brings me JOY.

I'm waiting for the punchline.  Seriously.

A mama that I met through a mutual interest in cloth diapering is due to deliver soon.  I took a huge bag of presents to her shower.  Some of it was used (prefolds, a book, cloth nursing pads, babylegs) and some of it was new (outfits with snapping shirts, newborn microfiber inserts, awesome swaddling blankets.)  She is a writer as her profession, so she's kindof like my hero.  When she wrote me a thank-you note using the word splendiferous, I melted a little inside.

Another friend that I have known for the majority of our lives has a preschooler.  And is a vegetarian.  I've been hearing interviews by book authors on NPR, seeing what some bloggy mamas have to say, and doing a little reading myself.  I stand in the grocery store and think "I don't want to buy cow flesh wrapped in plastic" but then the next thought becomes "so what the heck do I feed my toddler?"  So I asked this dear friend of mine for help.  She spent the entire day peppering me with facebooked and texted questions about certain food preferences, and at the end of the day I had a 5-page encyclopedia on cooking speedy weeknight dinners for a family using no meat.  My mouth was watering at the recipes.  She's going to lend me cookbooks.  I am about to cry (partly because the food instructions were peppered with funnies that totally made me laugh until I had tears.  But also?  Because she is awesome.)

This friend also has some cloth diapers that she borrowed from me after the adoption of a baby girl into her family last fall.  Unfortunately fate is cruel, and the baby girl is no longer in their home, although I know she is still in their hearts.  I hesitatingly asked about the diapers, because I think my friend who is about to deliver might like to have them.  So this weekend she is bringing diapers and a cookbook.  Mommies helping mommies helping mommies.

In the past couple of years, I have wondered what it would be like to live on a commune.  Or in a community where people are more committed to reusing and recycling.  Communities where people are committed to sharing more freely, and not as concerned with getting their money out of something that they bought, like outgrown children's toys.  That can be carried too far.  I don't want all the women in one place raising the babies - I like to be able to pursue my passions as a working mama too.  I just can't help thinking every time I think "I need a _______ " and head out to Target for it, that there's someone on the other side of town going "I need to get that effing _______ out of the garage."

So in the past few days, I have had a mama I know online offer to go on vacation with me so we both get a getaway, but our girls will both be watched over.  I have forwarded a daycare newsletter on shyness to a mama I know online that has a shy little one.  I have begged for vegetarian recipes and gotten a missive of ideas in return.  And I will be forwarding a set of diapers to their third user.  A bunch of mommies that months ago were completely unconnected, now in a web of helping, supporting, sharing, reusing.  These are all really amazing women.  Intelligent, strong, capable, accomplished women that I am proud to affiliate with, proud to surround myself with, proud to have as role models for my Wee One.

It just makes me feel really connected tonight, and I think it's beautiful that can happen.

Excuse me while I go cry sappy PMS tears.  Thanks.


I had planned to do this months ago.  But I forgot.  Until I was looking for a photo on my phone and went "oh ya, I had all those cute 'shopping' photos".  So here ya go.

My girl likes to shop.


This and this really work.  Especially in combination.  I had 11 must-do things on my list for today.  I'm down to 5. 

Trying to move faster than MONDAY so it doesn't catch up with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stuff I've Argued With My Parents About This Weekend

This weekend, I have argued with my father parents over the following topics:

1.  Leaving the Wee One alone in the car for 3.2 seconds while I run inside to grab my cell phone.  He was walking down from his house as I came back out and got in the car with her.  When he got in the car, he did that thing where he says something to the baby instead of directly to me about how I shouldn't leave her alone in the car.  Then he lightly slapped me back and forth on my arm.

I of course was livid.  What was I supposed to do ... get her totally back out of the car to go inside and grab my phone off the couch?  Leave my phone behind?  I don't leave her out there for hours at a time, but for the 20 milliseconds it took me to walk from the front door to the couch, pick up the phone, and walk back out the front door?  A.  Chill out.  And B.  GET THE EFF OFF MY BACK DAD.

2.  Daycare infecting my daughter with various microorganisms.  While yes, my daughter has been sick quite frequently since starting back to daycare, she's been well for almost two weeks.  But, again, she seems to have caught another virus.  Fever, not feeling well, not a very good appetite.  Family Portraits In The Park was ruined because she refused to lift her head off my shoulder, so at breakfast my dad suggests that I should change daycares.

When I point out that she would still be around a large number of snotty-nosed kids at another daycare, he got mad and said that's the only variable I could control.  I don't really know what they expect from me. 

When we talk to doctors, they all say this is normal.  Viruses just run their course, viruses are common this time of year.  Frequent infections might help her immunity later, even.  Do they just say that because they really can't say TAKE YOUR KID OUT OF DAYCARE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU"RE KILLING HER?  Or is it just that it's easier to say "let a virus run its course" when you're a doctor and it's not your kid that's running a fever for three days and won't eat and just wants to cry and lay around?

This morning a rash was added to the list of symptoms, so I took her to the Urgent Care place.  While waiting for the diagnosis of Roseola, and the treatment recommendation of "treat the fever, let the virus run its course", my mother broaches the topic.  She is interested in running an experiment: take Wee One out of circulation - take her out of daycare and limit her exposure to other children for, say, a month.  See if she gets sick.  Then expose her to other children and see if she gets sick.  That will tell us if it's "daycare" or "her immune system" or whatever the problem is.

Despite the obvious major flaws in the experiment, and the fact that I can't keep her away from other people her entire life, I can't afford a nanny, so any other option is going to put her around other kids.

3.  Meeting people on the internet.  Specifically, wanting simply mentioning the option to go on vacation with another bloggy mama that I have not yet met in real life.  Because you know, there are big burly men out there posing on the internet as Not What They Seem in order to invite you to vacation with them, just waiting to take advantage of me and the Wee One.  Her suggestion?  We ALL go on a BIG GROUP vacation.  I lost it.  If I hadn't been driving I would have screamed.  Instead I just tried sarcasm.  Seriously?  My first point was - just because you and dad tag along, if "she" really is a burly pervert, there's not much you can do to protect us.  My second point was that I am not going to let this woman think that  MY GOD I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WITH MY PARENTS.
Not to mention the fact that I have been reading this woman's blog for years now, since I first found out I was pregnant and found her DIY Pregnancy and her single mom blogs.  She doesn't seem the burley pervert type.  First of all, posting photos of her kid over that long a time would be hard, and second of all, a man would never come up with the awesome nickname of Princess Von Fattybottom.
So, I think I need to take a break from the parents after this weekend, and they probably need a break from me, too.  I'm afraid that I'll get another migraine over all of this.  Then I will literally feel like my head is exploding.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spring Break, 2011

Several years ago, during a busy, stressful (yet child-free) time in my life, I decided to take a vacation for Spring Break.

I love living by the rhythms of the academic year.  But up until that time, Spring Break meant a time to catch up on grading from midterms and a chance to try to get ahead for the remainder of the semester.  Once I became Division Chair, Spring Break often meant meetings to work on schedules and room assignments and other administrative issues.  This particular year, however, we had no meetings scheduled, we had already started on the schedule, and the one obligation required of the administrators could be accomplished if you had an internet connection.

I decided I was going away.

I wanted to go to the beach.  I hadn't been to the beach in a very long time, and that sounded like an ideal vacation.  I had done my taxes, and had money coming to use on the vacation.  I started searching the internet, and found a condo that I could tell was, in fact, directly on the beach, and was in my price range.  I booked it immediately.  (Yes, it's huge.  But also?  On the beach.)  Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

I mentioned it to the drunk womanizer, and he insinuated that he would go with me.  Later, I asked him, and he said that he would go with me.  So when my parents hinted that they would love to go, I basically blew them off, since I would already have "company".  About a week before time to leave for our "vacation", he started making some excuses.  I ended up getting fed up with it, so I told him he was uninvited.  My parents still wanted to go, but I was looking forward to some truly alone time.

So Darby and I packed up, I printed directions and pored over the atlas, and at 3 am one morning with a cooler full of snacks and dog treats, we hit the road. 

It was the best vacation I have ever had.  Ever.  Hands down.  Best thing I have EVER done for myself, was to take that vacation alone.
Despite the frigid March waer temperature, she did a little swimming and generally wore herself out on the beach.

I took tons of books, some cokes (of course), ham and horseradish cheddar cheese sandwiches, and an extra blanket from home.  And the camera, of course.
That was March, 2007. 

I want to go on vacation for Spring Break this year.  This time, I'll take the 'rents.  I'm thinking about going back to the same place.  Or that place that Jellybean Mama showed, holy cow that place was nice.

It will mean about 13 hours in the car with my parents and the Wee One.  We will argue about driving straight through versus stopping in a roach motel on the way.  We will argue about places to eat or taking food for the car.  The toddler will alternately scream and sleep badly and be off schedule the entire time we are there.

But I don't care, as long as I see this again:

Yea, so, never mind.  I finally realized that "green" on their legend doesn't mean "available", it means "BOOKED".  Ooops.  So, I'm taking suggestions.