Friday, February 29, 2008

To review...

On this long, rambling journey exploring the surprisingly controversial topic of diapers, what have we learned so far?

  • There are lots of kinds of diapers.
  • Poll results showed more of you using disposable diapers than cloth diapers.
  • It's not clear cut what kind of diapers are best for the environment, but you can make the best out of any kind you choose.
  • Some people say cloth diapers aren't so inconvenient after all.
  • Like a car, a cloth diaper's resale value will depend on who makes it. (And you don't want either one to leak.)
  • Prefolds don't look like they're folded - but they actually are.
  • The Amish don't worry about whether cloth or disposable is better.
  • Skipping diapers altogether is actually an option. (It's commonly known as Elimination Communication or EC.)
  • Some other people say ECing is even easier than dealing with diapers.
  • Just when you think you have it all figured out, somebody says, "hey, what about diapers you can flush?!!"

* * * * *
Photos: 1) Wild diapers by hopeandmegan. Creative Commons License. 2) Baby by twelve paws. Creative Commons License. 3) Diapers out to dry by me. All rights reserved. (I know. I'm just difficult like that.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Greener got easier

It may not seem like much to you.

But to us, it's a beautiful thing.

We finally have our own recycling bin!

Really all it took was trading a few phone calls with the city. I didn't have to fight or anything. So if you don't have your own recycling bin, maybe all you have to do is ask.

Well, that's what's new here. Anything new with you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another shot

So I referred to the Hep B vaccine as a "travel shot," because I thought that was the one I didn't get it until I was getting ready to leave the country. But then I saw it on the JustMommies children's immunization schedule. So maybe they give that one to kids already.

Maybe I meant the Hep A vaccine. I don't know. I just know the first one hurt, and they made me come back for two successively more painful shots.

And maybe that's best gotten out of the way sooner rather than later. I'll let you decide. In case it helps, JustMommies also has a "Choosing to Vaccinate" forum.

* * * * *
Photo by Lab2112. Creative Commons License.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

G stands for "Gee, that'd be nice"

I thought it was about time to get back to the whole diaper topic. So it was awfully handy to find this Mommy Matters post about gDiapers. According to their website, gDiapers consist of a washable outside (they call it a "liner," which I find confusing) and a biodegradable insert that you can flush, compost or throw away. They claim they'll break down in 50-150 days.

A diaper you can flush. Almost sounds too good to be true, huh?

* * * * *

Photo by rshannonsmith. Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just a shot in the dark...

At the doctor last week (yep, still sick on and off), I learned that adult immunizations are never covered by insurance - even for travel to a country where they're required. (Crazy, huh?!)

That got me thinking. About a lot of things, actually. But the one that's relevant here is this: if you're taking your kids/teens to get shots anyway, would it be good to have them get one of those "travel shots" (like Hep B) at the same time?

It seems like you just might be doing them a favor getting a couple extra shots out of the way while they're already in there and still on your insurance. Of course, you'd have to check with your doc and insurance people first.

Also, I know some people question whether kids should get immunizations at all, but that's going to have to go on my (long) list of things I need to read up on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Toys: What you really have to worry about - Part 3

With the invention of the wheel came the potential for humans to injure themselves in new ways. In that tradition, kids have been falling off bikes, scooters, skates and other things that roll since they’ve had the opportunity to do so. But, really, skinned knees aren't the problem.

Riding toys are involved in more injuries and deaths than any other type of toy. (Yeah, I was kind of surprised by that.) Even seemingly benign toys made for small children that don’t allow them to go very fast or fall very far are not exempt from these dangers, since kids can easily lose control once they get rolling.

What makes riding toys so dangerous?

  • Cars. It's not easy for someone driving down the street - or backing out of your driveway - to see a small child, especially one who is sitting on a tricycle or other toy.
  • Water. A child who rolls into a backyard pool or pond might not get out fast enough.

In addition to the above, motorized riding toys have the potential for strangulation if an article of clothing gets caught in them.

Things to keep kids riding safe:
Also, before letting kids ride on motorized toys, make sure they're wearing suitable clothing. To quote The Incredibles' Edna Mode: "No capes!"

Monday, February 18, 2008


One of the many amazing things about babies is the vast potential that lies inside each tiny form.

What will this child be? How will his personality develop? Will she grow up to be a doctor? a teacher? a mother? the president? Suddenly, anything seems possible.

* * * * *

Photo by BruceLee. Creative Commons License.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Baby love

OK, parents, here's what I'm wondering: Does having your first child change the way you view love? Do you feel like you have a greater capacity for love/compassion/self-sacrifice since becoming a parent? Or is all that the stuff of myth?

Parent or not, I hope your day is filled with love.

* * * * *

Photo by me, "artwork" by Rachel.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Supporting (and searching for) Beauty

When I read about Project Support Beauty in Nature, it didn't take long for me to think of the biggest problem area in my surroundings.

I know. Yikes. While I realize that a parking lot is not exactly "nature," it is my environment. And kids play out there too. So, here's how this problem occurs:

Too little space (from couches, mattresses, etc. wedged in at awkward angles)
+ too many people's trash (because the neighboring complex seems to prefer our dumpster to theirs)
= overflowing nastiness.

What could we do about this in a short amount when we don't even know where this seemingly endless supply of furniture comes from? After considering a number of more complicated options, we settled on something very simple.

A flyer. It asks people to donate the furniture rather than throwing it out and gives the number for the Salvation Army. (They pick up furniture, etc. free of charge.) Because of the local demographic, I also did one in Spanish.

My very brave hubby taped them on to the front of the dumpster.

Will this small step make any difference? Will people take the time to call? I don't know. All we can do is try, right? And I think it's worth a shot.

In other news: I tried to get us a recycling bin this week, too, but that's still up in the air. We recycle anyway, but it'd sure be nice not to have to drive in order to do it.

Did you do something in the past two weeks to make your world a little more cleaner or greener? Please share! :) And if you blogged about it, add a link to your post.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Little ways to help the earth

Have you started your Support Beauty in Nature project yet? I have a little project in progress and a larger one in mind - although I'm not sure how far I'll get on that.

If you need inspiration, Kaboose's Earth Day Guide has some great ideas. It's geared toward helping kids take small steps to "keep the world cleaner and greener," but there's some good reminders for us non-kids too.

See what you can do in the next few days to make your environment cleaner and/or greener. Then come back and tell us all about it Monday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More fare for the fam

In keeping with my resolution to finish what I start on this blog, here's an update on Fam Fare, the new design line I launched this summer.

As promised, Fam Fare has expanded to include more than just baby and children's clothes. We've added cards, diaper bags (messenger and tote styles available for all Fam Fare designs) and adult-sized apparel (including maternity), as well as a whole new design that features a Happy Frog.

By the way, we also have a Pink Tag Sale going on now with discounts on women's and baby apparel. (Click the link above to see the reduced prices.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Toys: What you really have to worry about - Part 2

A lot of the buzz about last year's toy recalls has died down, but that didn't change my suspicion of every item in the toy aisle. To me, it's creepy that there's no way for a consumer to accurately detect lead paint. There are some lead paint test kids on the market (including this one for only $12.99), but the CPSC has found them to be "unreliable".

As far as I know, your options are...

  1. Buy American-made toys, which tend to be safer but harder to find.
  2. Wait around for a recall. (Subscribing to CPSC's feed or emails will help with that.)
However, when it comes to lead poisoning, toys are not your biggest problem. The source for at least 70% of children with lead exposure is old lead paint, particularly chipped or peeling paint from before 1978, which is a lot easier to spot and should be a lot easier to avoid.

According to the CDC's "Childhood Lead Exposure" article, the other 30-or-so percent of exposure sources include not only toys but imported candies, drinking water contaminated by lead pipes, and "traditional home health remedies such as azarcon and greta, which are used for upset stomach or indigestion in the Hispanic community." (It's also been found in traditional remedies of East Indian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and West Asian cultures.)

All of the sudden, I'm not so worried about the invisible - but relatively small - threat of lead-tainted toys. The majority of lead exposure causes are much easier to spot.

Besides that, if this 70-year-old could survive extensive contact with lead paint in the days before it was banned, the odds are that today's kids will make it, too.

* * * * *

Photos: 1) By Fortyseven. Creative Commons License. 2) By me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Yes, I'm feeling much better, thank you. And Aunty had a few more additions to my sore throat remedies list. So here you go...

  • Chicken soup. Of course, homemade is best. But not always realistic.
  • Cepacol spray. I think I remember using Chloraseptic spray. Are those basically the same thing? I'm still a little too sick ;) to be looking too much stuff up. However, I did check the spelling of the words and came across one blogger's helpful advice on the subject:
*Warning: do not Drink chloreseptic spray from the bottle. I didn't think it would be a big deal until half the bottle was gone and I was walking around tipsy at work.
Everyone got that? Ok, moving on...

There's Airborne. And Airborne knockoffs. I didn't mention that in my original list because those were Mom's remedies for us as kids. I predate Airborne.

Speaking of the days before Airborne, when someone thought they might be getting sick, do you know what my Grandma used to tell them?

"Close your pores!"

If you have any clue as to how that works, let me know.