Saturday, July 31, 2010

wherein I wish summer vacation weren't almost over, and purple semis

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Tomorrow is the first of August. 

That, for all practical purposes, means that summer is winding to a close.

Only one summer camp left.
Only a few weeks of school supply sales left (I love school supplies!)
One month until the pool closes.
Just a bit longer than that, and the nights will start getting cooler.

As always summer escapes me before it is even here.

But I look forward to the things to come -
Buying grapes, apples, and other produce to put in jars for winter.
Baking, and not melting while doing so.
Opening the windows for cool night breezes.
Going camping one last time before it really is too cold for me to want to be out there.

I know there will be more things that I think of, but for now, I'm thankful for summer, and all the wonderful experience we have left over the next several weeks.

And, somewhat randomly -

If you're looking for a sign to get moving on something, here's the purple semi you asked for:

Friday, July 30, 2010

NTDI: episode 7 - the detergent that rocks a soak: Rockin' Green

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As I mentioned, I got samples of Rockin' Green detergent in Hard Rock, in all the scents.

So far, I've opened Orangevana, Smashing Watermelons, and The Plain Green Tea's. (Did I mention I love the names?) I had thought that the scents would be a lot stronger than they were.  Really, it's just a hint of scent, and only when I'm opening the bag.  I can barely smell it once I start running the water into the soaking container, so I would speculate that when I use it for regular washing, that I wouldn't notice much.  That's not a bad thing, in that it doesn't leave potentially irritating scents in the diapers.

I have:

1) Rocked a soak in the diaper pail. I have taken pictures to document this, but unfortunately, there's nothing really outstanding about the photos to post.  Nothing like some of the photos I've seen, where the water turns black! (But, that's usually with things like men's grody work clothes, or dark colored towels)  I'll go ahead and post the photos later.

My helpers with the first soak.

2) (Attempted) to rock a soak in the front loader.  I don't know that it really worked as intended, though, because most of the diapers were not submerged in the water.  Silly low water usage device.

3) Rocked a soak in a 5 gallon bucket.

I have one, maybe two soaks left to do before all the diapers currently in rotation are washed. (Do I really have THAT many diapers?! I need to do a stash count!) That doesn't include all the newborn/small diapers that are currently in storage.

Since my bath tub doesn't keep a good seal at the drain, and the bath tub that does is the one that is not in a kid-safe zone (N has more than once tipped over the edge of the tub while trying to retrieve something of interest to him), I've been doing the diapers in small batches (24 or fewer diapering items per soak).  Also, a tub soak would use more rockin' green that I have in any one scent, and I wanted to be able to fully experience each scent.

I have noticed that it seems like it takes fewer rinses than other detergents I've used to get the bubbles out.  Since I'm not washing the diapers yet in the regular method, I'm not in a place to really compare. However, considering that the process for soaking the diapers uses 3 tablespoons of detergent, and a regular wash uses just one, I'm guessing that it really will take fewer rinses. Yay!  The diapers have come out of the washer and dryer/clothes line smelling clean.

My perfectionist self is trying to keep all the Rockin' Greened diapers separate from the others, so I can really tell a difference in terms of what keeps stinking and what doesn't.  Even though I started my Rockin Green experiment several days ago, I just put N in a diaper that's been washed in the detergent two nights ago.  The smell in the morning? None!  I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the diapers turn out!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm trying to win stuff from other bloggers

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Seriously, this is my latest time waster, as the return is likely to be super-minimal.

I did win one diaper and cover two months ago, so clearly it's not a complete waste of time! Here's a picture of N in his Mother-ease Sandy's fitted and Air flow cover.  They both have side snaps, which is a new thing to me.  I'm liking it so far!

I've been entering giveaways from all over the blogosphere.  Someone asked me to post the giveaways, so here they are! I know some have already ended, but even so, they are likely to have other giveaways coming up soon. Hope you find this helpful!

Best Bottoms Giveaway (8/2) | Dirty Diaper Laundry
The Cloth Diaper Report: Best Bottom Diaper Review & Giveaway (7/31)
The Cloth Diaper Report: Bummis Training Pant Giveaway (7/24) {Sponsored by Diaper Shops}

The Cloth Diaper Report: Pooters One Size Fitted Review & 2 Winner Giveaway (7/30)
The Cloth Diaper Whisperer: Fluff Friday 89
We Owe How Much?!?: Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent - Review & Giveaway - Open to US Residents July 20-30
Oh Rockin’ Green Soap…how I love you! « I am the Crunchy Pagan Parent!

Children Teaching Mama:: Rockin' Green Detergent Review & Giveaway
Children Teaching Mama:: Supergoop Sunscreen Review & Giveaway Knickernappies Giveaway #3!
Mama B: Mama Essential #38: Nicki's Diapers {Review and Giveaway}

Mama B: Mama Essential #37: Sleepy Wrap {Review and Giveaway}
Fluff Envy: July Promotion!
Mom to Bed by 8: He's All Boy ~ Bummas Wipes Review and Giveaway Applecheeks Giveaway!
Apple Cheeks Envelope Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway 7/19 | Liz Has a Life
Katydid One-Size Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway | Liz Has a Life

3am Cloth Diapers, No Pins Needed: WAHM Event Giveaway #7 - White Elephants
It's Me Melbie!: Rockin' Green Soap Review & Giveaway - Ends 8/18
The Crafty Nest: Cloth Diaper Week: Thirsties Duo Diaper Review & Giveaway

The Willow Store: Sprout Change One-Size Organic Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway | Mommy Is Green
Organic Girl Giveaways,Canada,,Baby,giveaways
The Crafty Nest: Cloth Diaper Week: Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag Review & Giveaway
Green Baby/Toddler Event #3; Organic Baby Carrier Giveaway
Children Teaching Mama:: Little Beetle Little-To-Big Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway

The Crafty Nest: Cloth Diaper Week: Nicki's Best Bottom Diaper Review & Giveaway
Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative: Review of Fresh Moon Mama Pads & a Giveaway!!
Mama to 3 Blessings - Our Homeschool Blog: PLANET WISE WET/DRY BAG REVIEW & GIVEAWAY
3am Cloth Diapers, No Pins Needed: WAHM Event Giveaway #6 - Nifty Nappy- Growing up Green

It's Me Melbie!: Katydid Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway - Ends 8/4
It's Me Melbie!: Thirsties Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway - Ends 7/28
It's Me Melbie!: Kissaluvs AIO Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway - Ends 8/11

Mom to Bed by 8: He's All Boy ~ Inspired By Finn Baltic Amber Necklace Review & Giveaway
Cloth Chronicles: Monkey Foot Designs Giveaway ***1000 Fans Celebration***
Cloth Chronicles: Diaper Change Diapers Giveaway ***1000 Fans Celebration***
One Little Mister: Nifty Nappy Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway
Life Happens During Naptime: Sleepy Wrap Review and Giveaway

Fitteds and pockets and snappis, oh my!: SoftBums Echo Slide to Size Diaper Review & Giveaway (8/6)
Newly Wed, Newly Bred!: ERGObaby Carrier Review and Giveaway!
My new life as... MOM!: Ergo Baby Carrier Review & Giveaway
Planet Wise: Best Wet Bag Ever (an unsolicited opinion) – Giveaway! « bebehblog

The Crafty Nest: Wahmies Wet Bag Review & Giveaway
Loving My Life Reviews: Tiny Tush Trim Hemp Review & Giveaway
Loving My Life Reviews: Tiny Tush Trim Hemp Review & Giveaway
3am Cloth Diapers, No Pins Needed: WAHM Event Giveaway #9- Doodle Dypes

Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative: Top Picks for Newborn Diapers and a Giveaway!
Cloth Diaper Retailer Cooperative: Top Picks for Newborn Diapers and a Giveaway!
Mommy Of 1 and Counting: Katydid Review & Giveaway
Homemade Baby Items | Cloth Diaper Giveaway Time! | ClothBaby

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the cost of disorganization: $6.49

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I have had a bad habit of being disorganized when it comes to food planning, purchasing, and use.

Last week, I had a definite fail. I bought a whole chicken. It was on sale. A deal! yay!
Then I didn't put it in the freezer, because the one over the fridge was full, and the upright freezer in the garage had another door-left-open fail and is waiting for me to thaw the huge ice clumps surrounding everything in there.
So it sat in the fridge for a day or two.  I was going to roast it, but then, the water was turned off because they had a main break.  Then I forgot about it.  Then the water was off again. Then it was the weekend.

Then, it was today.  I pulled it out.  That was what made my fridge stink yesterday and today.

That was $6.49 straight into the trash can.

I've gotten better about wasting food from disuse.  I used to buy a lot of veggies, and then never got around to eating them all. Good intent, bad follow through.

Making a menu, and then making a shopping list has seriously cut down on wasted food.

It's still painful to see it happen.  And all because I never took the time to follow through on my menu!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

veggies for the baby

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Remember that I posted about making Pioneer Woman's pico de gallo? And how much I can eat a whole bowl of it? (Apparently frequent doses is dulling my sensitivity to cilantro.)

It would appear that Nathanael has no dislike of cilantro. He comes running every time I get the ingredients put together, hovering at my elbow and begging a bite.

I decided he needed his own bowl.  I gave him chips, but he wasn't very adept at using them to get the good stuff.  So I got him a spoon.

Yes. He is eating raw onion, raw tomato, raw jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.  Straight up.

Yes, he likes it so much he drinks the juice left at the bottom of the bowl.  And asks for refills.

It really is that good. At least, he and I think so.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

container gardening in july

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My container garden has been doing well this summer.

My definition of well? Not dead. Producing some vegetables and fruits.
To date, we've harvested the following:

12 strawberries
several bunches of lettuce (the spinach never really turned out for us)
4 snow peas
3 cucumbers
and about a pint of green beans

Honestly, not as much as I would have hoped, but considering the overabundance of rain we've been having, not too shabby.

We have several tomatoes growing, and a few are approaching ripeness, but the over-watering from the heavens ha caused a few of them to split and spoil. I am hopeful that the remaining tomatoes will be okay.

My big pot of strawberries is preparing a second harvest for us. I think there are more blossoms this time, so maybe we can have more to share.

I had an initial batch of cucumbers, but Something Happened to them while I was away, and the cucumbers that were just and inch or two long shriveled up and died. The plant hasn't given up, though, and put on new blossoms and is growing more cucumbers for my snacking enjoyment.

The green peppers are growing nicely, and I expect in another week or two to be able to start adding them to our menu.

The sunflowers are blossoming, the herbs are growing nicely.

The volunteer garlic from last year, that I transplanted to a pot rather hastily managed to survive, and seems to have put on some bulbs. Not too bad from an unexpected garden item.

It's about time to clean up the lettuce container and plant some new seed for the fall harvest.

Both kids enjoy helping to water the plants each day, and they like to help me pick the vegetables and fruits. Caring for the garden and picking the produce hasn't done much for expanding Elizabeth's food preferences, but at least she can see where it comes from and how it grows

In my seven or so years of attempted gardening, I would say this has been my most successful yet!

Friday, July 23, 2010

happy mail day!

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I just got my samples of Rockin' Green cloth diaper detergent in the mail. Do you know how happy this makes me? Very much so. I've been waiting somewhat impatiently for a week. But now, they are here!

I intend to do some photo documentation as I Rock a Soak with my cloth diapers, and see what comes out in the wash.

Stay tuned for Rockin' Green updates!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ACOG + VBAC: a tale of two acronyms

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Know what I just read over at The Feminist Breeder?

ACOG has changed its collective mind... Again!

So, now, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) is telling us what research has been telling us for a while. That for most women and babies, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is safe.

If I recall the on-again-off-again relationship between ACOG and VBAC, it goes something like this:

After several years of their friends saying they should get together, in 1994, ACOG said, "I love you VBAC! You and I, we will always be together!" And the VBAC rate went up.

Then, after a 4 year relationship, ACOG spurned VBAC, claiming she had been unhealthy, even deadly, though ACOG didn't really have anything to back up his claims. Not any texts, nothing on facebook, just what some of his friends (who never liked VBAC to start with) kept whispering. The VBAC rate dropped, as insurance companies, hospitals and doctors said they wouldn't do VBAC. They said she had cooties. Or something.

For more than 10 long years, VBAC has been fighting the misinformation, the tarnish on her reputation. Some people slammed the door in her face when she came knocking. Others knew the truth. ACOG had been misled. Some quietly looked away and let her go about her business. Her friends welcomed her with open arms, ignoring the threats and lies.

Finally, VBAC and her friends rallied together in March, 2010, to bring all the documentation of the truth to the light. ACOG digested this. ACOG thought some more, talked to his friends, and finally, issues a press release. ACOG said, "VBAC, we're not as tight as we once were, but we can be friends. Hugs?"

So the tale goes.

As I post in one of the forums I frequent:

Ultimately the message I take away from the press release is that now, ACOG says that it's generally safe (and maybe even a Good Idea) to encourage women to attempt a VBAC/TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean). And, VBAC is even something to consider for women who have had 2 sections, who are pregnant with twins after a section, and even those who have an unknown uterine scar.

I thought it was especially interesting that they said this (emphasis mine):

The College says that restrictive VBAC policies should not be used to force women to undergo a repeat cesarean delivery against their will if, for example, a woman in labor presents for care and declines a repeat cesarean delivery at a center that does not support TOLAC. On the other hand, if, during prenatal care, a physician is uncomfortable with a patient's desire to undergo VBAC, it is appropriate to refer her to another physician or center.

So, considering this - if you are hoping for a VBAC, and your doctor says "no" because of policy, you can show them the ACOG press release, or refer them to the practice bulletin indicated at the bottom of the press release.

If you've had a previous cesarean (even two!) you have just a little bit more room to stand if you tell your doctor you want a VBAC. The road won't necessarily be easy. ACOG conveniently left a lot of space in their words to give hospitals, and doctors an out if they should want to deny a woman a VBAC. But still. A step in the right direction.

Friday, July 16, 2010

NTDI: episode 6 - the price of being stink-free

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After two weeks of disposables while away from home, we're back into cloth diapers. What am I greeted with on the first overnight? Stink. Not awful stink like I used to have, but enough to encourage me to keep up the vigilance.

I recognize that in the week before we left, I was doing fewer rinses on the diapers in an effort to speed along the laundry process. Perhaps that is what has done us in. However, considering today, maybe it's not related. N did not wake up with a horribly stinky diaper. I changed it halfway through the night, though, so that may have made the difference there. E's diaper, on the other hand, nearly knocked me over with the smell. I think that is mostly due to her 3 yo body chemistry, as sometimes her diapers stink, and sometimes not.

I also have been inconsistent in rinsing the diapers prior to putting them in the diaper pail. The stink has been less frequent since beginning my rinsing endeavor, but I'm not sure that I can attribute the improvement to that addition to my routine.

Even though I believe that sunning the diapers made a big difference in getting the stink out last time, the reality of my situation is that once the colder months hit, there is no sunning diapers outside. I need to find a solution to keeping the ammonia stink from developing in the first place.

Here is my next step in my investigation: detergent.

I decided to go ahead and purchase some samples of Rockin Green in Hard Rock. I ordered one sample packet of each scent, and I'm looking forward to giving it a try. (I love that they offer samples!)

I still a bottle and a half of liquid planet detergent, and 2 un-openned boxes of country save detergent. I'm not sure what I'll do if I find that Rockin Green is my diaper-saver. Do a happy dance? Yes, I think that's a good option!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

rogue crayon returns

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I'm back. Really I am. I was away for a couple of weeks, and in the midst of everything, hadn't time to post. Summer has always been an iffy time for us. We've been involved in so many youth camps and summer events over the last several years that it seems like we're away from home more than we are at home.

I don't like to reveal in advance when I'm going to be gone. Somehow, it seems like an open invitation to steal stuff from my house. I will get ahead of the posts some day, and have some ready to go, just in case. But I'm not there just yet.

So for now, back to our regularly (un)scheduled posting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

playing with style

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Time for some color on the blog.

What the current design seems a little loud (certainly louder than white!), but I might as well go for it.

I might be fiddling with the design over the next several weeks, just to try some new things out. I mean, if I can't dye my hair magenta, at least I can change my blog background to something crazy, right?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

absentee blogging

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I was away for a while at a church reunion/family camp. My kids were with me, so you needn't be concerned that they've been neglected for the past week. I took photos, I shared some of my baby carriers with others, and probably raised some eyebrows with my brazen breastfeeding of a toddler, often with no nursing cover!

Unfortunately, we arrived sick to camp (the sniffles, coughing, and some feverish people after arrival at camp.) I brought lots of hand sanitizer, and we washed our hands frequently to avoid passing it along. I don't know if we succeeded, though.

I must thank my brother for the use of his camping trailer. What will I do when he and his family find the time to use their camper more often during the summer?

I need to sit and contemplate the past few weeks. I'm sure I have several stories to tell, but I'm drawing a blank in the aftermath.
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