Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's not easy being green

So, I just have 8 minutes until I have to pick up the kids, from preschool but I have a question for you cloth diapering mommies out there. Through various means (i.e., my friend Raegan, my mom, dc urban moms) I have amassed quite an array of cloth diapers, all of them with cutesie names, usually involving some play on the word "bum." So, for not too much of an investment, I have quite a collection of diapering options to try out on my official cloth diaper tester, Teddy. Right now Teddy is wearing a Bum Genius (an all-in-one diaper that adjusts to fit a newborn to a toddler) and it is HUGE on him. Poor guy looks like his legs are about 2 inches long. He is all crotch at the moment. Earlier today I tried a Lite Wrap with an old school Gerber pre-fold and it worked pretty well, albeit slightly messy to change. It did leak a bit, forcing me to change his onesie. Anyway, blah, blah, blah, you don't want to hear about me changing diapers and now I have 2 minutes until I have to pick up the kids.

I'll cut to the chase. Here is my question: How green is cloth diapering really?

This article makes me really confused. Read it for yourself, but basically there was a big study and it said that cloth diapering is just as bad for the environment as disposable diapering. Hard to believe, but they did do a study and everything, so maybe it's true. Here's a quote from the article in case you're not in a link-clicking mood...

"To reduce the impact of cloth nappies on climate change parents would have to hang wet nappies out to dry all year round, keep them for years for use on younger children, and make sure the water in their washing machines does not exceed 60C."

(Sigh...just when I was getting all excited about cloth nappies.)
How about these G Diapers? These are the ones that are a cloth/disposable hybrid. Sort of the Prius of the diaper world. The thing with these is you use a reusable (super cute) cover and a flushable insert. In theory, there's no washing anything yucky and no filling up landfills. Win win! They are too cute and they sell them at Whole Foods, a place that makes me feel environmentally superior right when I walk in the door. Do you think these are the greenest diapers of all? They are not the cheapest, but seem to be comparable to disposable diapers.

Anyone have any thoughts on the subject? Let me know!

Gotta go for now!

Hi, I'm back. I had to revisit this topic. I have washed the few diapers I used today about a zillion times and I still doubt they're actually clean. In fact I think I'll be running the washing machine again with a big vat of bleach and nothing else. I'm more than a little grossed out by the yellow baby poo in my washing machine. Who knew being green would involve so much yellow? Sorry, that was so lame.

Also, Teddy, while wearing various configurations of cloth diapers, did not have a decent nap all afternoon. He kept falling asleep in the sling and then I would put him down and he'd sleep for about 15 minutes and then he would wake up again. I kept having to check his diaper every time to see if he was wet and it was a huge pain. Once I finally put a disposable diaper on him he went to sleep and has been asleep now for a few hours. Coincidence? Hmmmmm.....

Help! I want to do the best thing for the environment, my pocketbook, the washing machine and my baby. What's the answer?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sleep Like a Mommy

Two weeks of missing key hours of sleep have left me feeling a little punchy. I have that feeling I always used to get during finals week in college when my procrastinating would catch up with me and I'd stay up four nights in a row reading about 10 books and writing papers on them. Amazingly, I got pretty good grades in college. I think it's because lack of sleep makes me weirdly hyper and sort of wired...until it doesn't anymore. And then I slip into an abyss of exhaustion, where navigating the world feels like slogging my way through a big ocean of jello, as though everything in my life is sort of suspended in a big, giant jiggler of slow motion. But thankfully that hasn't happened yet! I'm still in the hyper stage of things! Jello salad anyone???

Right now I want to bake bread, clean the bathrooms, write thank you notes, and organize my closet. I actually bought ingredients to make a mini pre-Thanksgiving dinner the other day. Just for fun!! Yep, it's crazy town over here.

I have ideas for writing, things I want to read, exercises I want to do once I can exercise again. I wish I could bottle this baby-induced euphoria and bring it out later when I am in the jello stage of things, which will hit probably around the time I need to get serious about Christmas shopping.

This blog entry would be a lot better, except I keep having to stop every two seconds to tell Emma how to spell "crayon" or how to make a "2." She is manically drawing pictures at the moment and cannot be stopped. She has these creative bursts almost daily where she simply must draw pictures and "write." I guess I can relate to that.

I must admit, despite all this energy I seem to have at the moment, I still fantasize about naps. That's the thing about having three kids...there's really no napping going on around here (except for Teddy). Life has resumed it's normal routine and that routine does not include kids who nap unfortunately. I keep trying to imagine ways I could somehow occupy the kids so that I might close my eyes for a few minutes. Maybe I could paint some open eyes onto my closed eyelids? Start wearing dark sunglasses indoors? Heading to my room for some shut-eye just isn't in the cards right now. We're not at the point yet where Mommy can be unconscious for more than say, five minutes, while the kids roam freely. I envision Charlie bouncing balls into my wedding china and Emma ordering speedboats and diamond rings online while I blissfully snooze upstairs.

Well, I better go wake up Teddy so he can eat and have a little awake time before retiring to bed again. What a life he has! I hope he realizes how lucky he is.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Man Party

Well, it's just Teddy and me at the house for a few hours. Emma's at school and Brandon has taken Charlie to have a "man party." I think the man party involves stopping by Brandon's office and then going to Barnes and Noble for some train table action. Poor Brandon, that's as much of a man party as he gets these days.

Teddy has the funniest receding hairline. His hair is also very dark brown, almost black, so the bald spots really show up. He reminds me of a very tiny, very cute Tony Soprano sometimes, although the similarities stop at the hairline. He is nothing like Tony Soprano temperament-wise. He is the sweetest, most laid-back little guy. He sleeps and sleeps and sleeps (over 6 hours in a row last night!) and then he eats and eats and eats (sometimes for two hours!),then for the few hours he's awake he'll tolerate sitting in the swing or being carried around in the sling while I attempt to resume my normal mommy duties.

Well, he's making his little grumbling noises in the swing now, so I think it's either time for a diaper change or more milk, or both. That's pretty much what his man party consists of so far.

One hour later.... Turns out Teddy's man party also consists of a lovely nap in the moses basket while I do some emailing, maybe get around to the dishes piled up in the sink and the laundry waiting for me in the dryer.

Is it weird that I'm slightly giddy at the thought of having a quiet house and another few child-free minutes to accomplish my mundane little tasks? Life is good!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Chrysalis

So I had a baby last week. What's new with you? Theodore Sayle McBride "Teddy" was born at 2:42 a.m. on October 30th. He weighed 8 lbs 4 oz and was 21 inches long. I was able to have him sans epidural and I'm quite proud of myself I have to say. The hypnobabies approach was very helpful. I was able to turn off my "light switch" (hypnobabies speak for learning how to relax your body instantly) and my labor was really very tolerable...in fact I questioned whether or not I was actually in labor until I went to the hospital and found out I was already 7 centimeters. The doctor (who was a totally random woman I had never laid eyes on before, and was not nearly as impressed with the fact that I was having a baby as I was--she was practically yawning through the entire event) broke my water right after declaring I was 7 centimeters. I stood up so that I could continue my favorite laboring position: the junior high slow dance. I have always kind of laughed at the pregnancy book pictures of women in labor and the strange positions they recommend to help labor along. The junior high slow dance position is perhaps the goofiest one of all, but for some reason, it helped more than anything. In case you're not familiar with this position, it's pretty self-explanatory (if you've ever been to junior high and you've ever slow danced). The pregnant woman puts her arms around her partner's neck and then sort of shuffles back and forth as though dancing to "Patience" by Guns N' Roses. So anyway, once my water was broken, I stood up and assumed the JHSDP and proceeded to have the worst contraction anyone has ever had since the dawn of time. There was no light switch big enough to turn this thing off. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Not like ouch, I stubbed my toe screaming, more like I'm about to have an 8 lb 4 oz baby screaming. Doctor blase must've heard my screams because she came running in and demanded that I get back on the table because I was about to have my baby on the floor. I was in the middle of the 2nd contraction heard round the world and could not hop up on the table at that particular moment. Eventually I got up on the table somehow and proceeded to have the baby. Once again, more yelling, lots of pain and grabbing onto Brandon for dear life. I just remember thinking, Oh my, I am having a baby right now and I feel every single thing. It felt like being strapped into a roller coaster that I was having second thoughts about. It was too late for drugs, so I just had to get through the pain and be tough. I will spare you the gory details, but it was a little scary there for a couple of minutes. It didn't help that my annoying doctor made me lay down and on my back instead of allowing me to sit up like I was led to believe I would be able to do. Anyway, the baby came out eventually and when he did it was the best feeling in the world. I felt like I had just climbed Mount Everest or run a marathon or something, like there was nothing I couldn't accomplish. The cord had been wrapped around his neck pretty tightly and so he wasn't crying when he came out. They let me hold him for about 2 seconds and then they whisked him away to go sit under the little tanning bed thingy and catch his breath. In no time I was chit chatting with everyone and drinking grape juice. I felt like a million bucks. I apologized for all the screaming earlier and the nurse and doctor shrugged and acted like it was no big deal. It's kind of funny that I was trying so hard to be charming to everyone after nearly deafening them with my blood-curdling screams mere moments before.

Teddy is just a pure delight. I think the third time really is a charm. I am just enjoying every second of his existence so much. I catch myself looking at pictures of Teddy that we took a week ago and feeling nostalgic for the time of his babyhood that has already passed. I just want everything to stay exactly as it is because it is so perfect at this very moment. My third time around I know all too well how fleeting everything is, how you think babyhood will last and last and you are just lousy with all this delicious wonder and innocence flooding your household and your life constantly. It's so easy to take it all for granted and then you wake up and your baby has turned into a giant who asks for privacy when they go to the bathroom and answers the telephone when you can't get to it in time. Not that those things are bad...those are definitely goals we should all be working towards with our children, but not Teddy. Teddy, I'm hoping will stay swaddled in his blankets, making his little chirpy sounds when he's nursing forever and ever. I think that's fair, right?

The kids' nickname for Teddy is sort of weird. They call him "the chrysalis." As in, "I want to see the chrysalis." Or, "where's the chrysalis?" (um...in his bed sleeping.) This all started when Emma saw him all swaddled up and decided he looked like a butterfly in the pupa stage. Here's a picture of a chrysalis:

And here's a picture of Teddy:

So, you can kind of see how she might see a similarity. Anyway, by definition, a chrysalis is in transition, it's turning into something else. And it's the same with Teddy. I know this. But for now I'd really just like for him to stay a chrysalis for, say, ever. Is that so much to ask?