Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Being a Diaper Tester

We are a diaper testing family. I don't mean that we're a family that really puts each and every diaper to the test by leaving it on too long or having particularly voluminous bowel movements. I mean, we often test new products for cloth diapering companies.

With this being our second time through the cloth diapering gamut, I feel we have a unique perspective to add. Our first daughter, A, was an average-sized newborn with a healthy appetite. For the first two months, she put on a pound a week. By the time she was two months old, she was 16lbs. By 9 months, she was 26lbs and wearing a size large diaper and size 18 mos clothing. She was solid, but proportional in height. Our second daughter, M, is the opp0site. Also born of average size, she put on so little in the first few weeks that we had to go in for extra weight checks. at 9 months, she was just 16lbs and at a year now, she 18lbs and wearing size small diapers. We've seen both ends of the spectrum.

Most recently, we were the lucky testers of two All In One diapers from two different companies. I won't go into details about either the diapers or the companies other than to say that they could have shared shipping and diaper costs by just shipping me the one diaper. The two diapers are largely the exact same. Down to the same color, even! Well, okay, not exactly the same. One was a dirty butter and the other a yellowed peach. When they sit side by side you can tell that they're different colors but straight from the wash, I have to look at the label to know which diaper I have.

I find it interesting that diaper companies are all moving along the same trends of development. Over the years, different designs have come and go into fashion. First, pocket diapers were the big thing and everyone started designing their own pocket. Then it was fitted diapers with flaps instead of sewn-in doublers. Now, it's either all-in-two diapers or all-in-one diapers with flappies.

They've all been around for years. Someone has been making them at some point over the past five years. Gdiapers have been using disposable inserts laid in a cover for years. Parents have been using cloth inserts in their gDiapers for years, too. Prefold users have been trifolding cotton diapers into PUL covers for years, too. There have even been bonafide AI2 diapers on the market for years.

But for some reason, these lay in a cover and reuse it later systems are really big right now. So big that some diaper stores are now calling All in twos "Hybrid" diapers to make them sound new and exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love my AI2 diapers enough that I just invested some cash to expand my system. I just want us all to be honest that hey, these are AI2s, not really any sort of hybridized newfangled thing. It's just really good marketing for what parent in the know have been doing for years. I find that amusing.

Off to change an insert in my "hybrid" Flip. Toodles!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Cleanout Continues

I know that someday I'll look back on this part of my life and say, "How strong I was!" At least, that's what I like to believe. It helps me keep afloat when I start to actually think about the complexities of life as I live it right now. Two homes, two children, one husband, two careers to worry about, living in someone else's home and working on clearing the estate while also keeping our own belongings separate enough that nothing of ours ends up in the discards pile.

This past week we started working on the master suite in the house. We moved the baby and about 60% of our boxed belongings into the room we had been sleeping in and took over the master bedroom. We then started on the master bath. We quickly stopped again. We now know what 13 years worth of not cleaning your bathroom looks like. Ick.

We moved on to the closet. It's amazing what you can find in a closet. Truly amazing. Thankfully, there was only one pile of underwear to deal with. Some of the offerings to be had in our closet adventure:

  • empty plastic bags, probably about 5o of them. Various sizes, most clear.
  • three boxes of random sewing supplies, including scraps from pantlegs that had been cut off for hemming and two pairs of pinking shears.
  • holiday giftwrap and bags, ribbons and tags
  • more pairs of black capris than you can shake a stick at
  • brand new clothing bought in the 70s, tags still attached
  • a vintage Air Force uniform cap
  • thermapacks for muscle pain
  • random cough drops and used tissues
  • an assortment of space-saver hanger devices that belongs in a museum somewhere

I really hope that when my time comes to have my belongings sorted by someone else that I don't have quite so many... unused items!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

M's First Birthday

M's first birthday was earlier this month. As we're between homes, we weren't sure how we were going to celebrate it. We ended up deciding to have cake and ice cream with just family. We held our little party at the assisted living home where M's great-grandparents are living. Lucky for all of us, that's just across the street from where we're living right now.

We all walked over there and had a rip-roaring good time. Everyone loved the cake, which I baked and Chad decorated. M didn't know what to do with all of the presents. She opened the first one and then got angry when we tried to take it away so that she could open another. Poor kid. A is still trying to understand that while she has to share most of the toys in the house with her sister, they can each have a few things of their own. A understands mine but not yours.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice

This was last night's crocked dinner:

Chicken and Wild Rice
1 bag of frozen chicken breasts (2lbs)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C water
1 box wild rice pilaf mix
12oz evaporated milk
1 can chicken broth

Mix and cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.