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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cloth Diaper Adventures

Catching Up 

I've been thinking about starting up blogging again for the last few months. As I dug out this old thing, I realized that I used to blog more than I remember, and I miss it. It was great to skim through my old posts and see who I used to be versus who I am now. I opened this blog because I'd like to share my latest in cloth diapering adventures, but since it's been 3 years, I'd like to do a little catching up.

I now have 2 children. My oldest, Bruce, is now 5. He'll start Kindergarten this August. My youngest, Bethany, turns 2 in May. I almost quit working to stay home with Bruce when he was born, but got promoted to Editor at work and decided it was worth it to stick around. When he was 18 months, I was working long hours and getting less and less happy with my job. I got a new job as a Content Strategist at Rackspace. I really loved that job until after Bethany was born. When she was 18 months old, I'd had enough, and I decided to stay home with the kids. With Bruce starting Kindergarten soon, my time for the stay at home mom experience was running out. I have been tempted here and there to get another job. I feel like I'm cheating the system. I can just live off my husband's job and stay home with the kids all day? That's amazing! It's not easy, and it's a lot of work, but they're my kids, and I love being with them.

Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering began for me when I was pregnant with Bruce. I read a lot about cloth diapers, talked to moms who loved them, and bought a newborn prefold stash and one size all in ones plus the wet bags and diaper sprayer. I was ready to do this. Then when I decided to keep working, daycare didn't want to do cloth diapers, but I might have been able to talk them into doing the all in ones. That's not a deal breaker though. It doesn't have to be all or none. You can do cloth at home and disposable at daycare.

Bruce came into this world through an unplanned c-section at 3:49 a.m. after I was induced for pre-eclampsia 6 days after his due date. It was incredibly hard. Brad took on most of the diapers the first few days because I was recovering from surgery. Brad got very used to the Pampers the hospital gave us and didn't want to do cloth diapers. I used a few cloth diapers during maternity leave, but Brad really hated it. He thought cloth diapers were disgusting and I thought creating that much trash was terrible. At that point, my marriage mattered more to me than getting my way so I gave away all the cloth diaper supplies.

Now my second and last child is almost 2 and will be potty training soon. I don't want to rush her. Parenting isn't a race or a competition, but she'll probably be ready soon. Starting a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop thinking about cloth diapers. I tried to let it go, but I couldn't. Finally I brought it up to Brad and he said he won't stand in the way this time. Once again, I read all about the options, compared prices, and decided what I wanted to buy. I asked Brad one more time before I put my order in to make sure he was really ok with this, and he promised not to get in the way again. Cliiiiiiick! They came in Friday and were prepped (washed 5 times) and put to use starting Saturday.

Cloth Diapering Lessons Learned 4 days in:

1. The hardest part of cloth diapering isn't how to put a prefold on. It's poop. Some people love disposable liners and some people love diaper sprayers. I tried disposable liners, but I'm firmly in team diaper sprayer. Liners means managing diaper trash and diaper laundry. I'd rather just have diaper laundry, and I don't feel comfortable flushing those things. I soaked one in water for 24 hours and it didn't disintegrate at all. Let's not need a plumber to remove those from the pipes. Rinsing poop off of diapers is not fun, but neither is having stinky poop in your trash can.

2. You need more than 3 covers. You don't have to change the cover with every diaper change, but you do need to change it when she wets a lot first thing in the morning and if poop gets on it (probably every poop whether it gets on the cover or not because the smell lingers). I ordered 2 more to come today. Five should be good. It's also nice to have one in the diaper bag.

3. A medium (12.5 x 16 inches) wet bag isn't enough for 2 days worth of diapers. The goal is to wash every other day. I started with 2 medium wet bags to rotate, but needed large (17 x 21 inches). A good wet bag isn't cheap, but it's worth it to me. Wet bags were a big chunk of the expense of cloth diapering, but they contain everything and can be washed with the diapers. Some people just use plastic pails. Cloth diapers aren't as stinky as disposables because you rinse the poop off.

4. You can cut your finger with a Snappi. Brad learned this last night. Those plastic teeth can get you.

5. Prefolds are absolutely the right choice for me right now. All in ones cost more and you can't separate the covers from the absorbent part. I can wash my diapers in hotter water and use bleach on them if needed without hurting the covers. I also don't put the covers in the dryer ever. I hang the diapers to dry most of the time too, but can put them in the dryer if time is an issue. If you start with one size all in ones earlier, it's probably worth it. Since she's at the bottom of the large range, she's set until potty training.

6. Lanolin makes great diaper cream. It's sold as nipple cream for breastfeeding, but it's great to clear up or prevent a diaper rash and washes out of cloth diapers in hot water. I'm hoping I won't need cream much as cloth is gentler on her skin than disposables, but we'll see. Most diaper cream has petroleum as a base and is terrible for cloth diapers. I'm tempted to use coconut oil, but I suspect it would affect the absorbency and be harder to wash out than lanolin.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gel Nail Polish

Exactly one year after I got super excited about getting a gel nail polish kit, and I still love gel nail polish enough to continue putting toxic chemicals on my skin for it. (Acetone isn't that bad right? Right?)

Also, I finally tried a brand other than OPI and I love Finger Paints brand gel polish. If you're thinking about getting a gel polish set, I would not recommend a starter kit.


1. The cuticle oil is B.S. Just use coconut oil or lotion.
2. The bonder is B.S. It's just another coat of goo.
3. The nail cleanser is B.S. It's just rubbing alcohol.
4. If you love doing your own nails, you have a bunch of nail files and buffers, so you don't need the one it comes with.

What you actually need:
1. a good LED light (getting 5 fingers instead of 4 under it would be nice)
2. a base coat
3. a top coat
4. 10 or 20 colors. :)
5.  rubbing alcohol (always wipe the nail with alcohol before the base coat and after the top coat)
6. lotion, coconut oil, or cuticle oil

For removing it in 2 weeks
1. cotton balls
2. acetone
3. foil

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fred and Ethel, the pugs

6 years ago tomorrow, Christmas Day, two pugs were abandoned outside of the Converse Animal Shelter near San Antonio in a small plastic cat carrier on a cold night right after they closed. The lady working there went back to get her coat when she found them and saved them from being there all night by asking Debbi from the San Antonio Pug Rescue to come get them.

Two weeks later, I decided to put my foot down. I was getting a dog! I remember like it was yesterday. I told my friends at work that Friday that I was going to have a dog by Monday and I wasn't taking no for an answer anymore. I grew up with a dog and didn't have one in college or the apartment we lived in before we bought our house, but we had been in our house with a fenced yard for nearly a year. Brad had promised that once we got settled into the house, we could get a dog. It was time.

We looked at the dogs at the Humane Society and I was willing to take any dog home. Every dog we played with was acceptable. "Let's take this one! No? Ok, this one! No? OMG Seriously, Brad?" Even the puppy who peed on the floor in front of me would have been fine with me. It's cool. What do you expect from a puppy?" Then we went to the Animal Defense League and the same thing happened. I was fine with almost ANY DOG and Brad was super picky. We had done some research to watch for aggression, so I made a point to mess with the dogs' ears and faces a little bit. Not enough, to hurt them, obviously, but enough to see how they handle it. If they pass that test, let's take them home!

I was upset. Brad was being difficult and I would never get him to agree to a dog. Then he said that he really liked pugs and he had been reading about them, and they're gentle with kids (we knew we'd have kids in the dog's lifetime, so that was an issue). He found a pug rescue organization in San Antonio online and showed me their website. "OMG LET'S CALL THEM RIGHT NOW!" So we did. It was Sunday afternoon and they let us come over to look at their pugs RIGHT NOW. I was super excited and not very patient. :)

When we got there,  all the pugs were snorting and sniffling. I was concerned that there was something wrong, but the pug ladies (Kathleen and Debbi) assured me that it's normal pug behavior. There were pugs everywhere, and I was ready to play with them all and pick one out. There was a puggle (beagle/pug) named Emerson. I felt bad for him because he was not like the others and wanted to take him home. Brad didn't go for it. Of course, not, he's Brad, so he's being difficult.

Then something happened. Fred came and played with me as Ethel went and played with Brad. Kathleen and Debbi told us their Christmas story and warned us that they need to be adopted together because they were abandoned together and bonded to each other, so separating them was not an option. When I looked at Brad's face as he played with Ethel I knew that we weren't getting a dog. We were getting 2 dogs. CAN WE TAKE THEM HOME RIGHT NOW? Fred still needed some shots, so we had to wait a few days. This worked out because we had some shopping and learning to do. Neither one of us knew much about taking care of dogs. My parents always did all the work and Brad never had a dog.

Kathleen and Debbi sat with us and wrote out a list of what we needed to buy, and we bought it all before we went home that day.

We have no idea what their names were before they were abandoned or what their lives were like. All we know is that the vet who examined them 6 years ago guessed they were about 2. It makes me sad when people ask if they're brother and sister or when their birthday is because I have no idea, but I do know that they are very well loved today.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Salad

1 pound of chicken
20 oz. of romaine lettuce
Frank's Hot Sauce (about 3 oz. depending on preference)
1 tomato
parmesan (or feta or bleu) cheese
caesar dressing (not the creamy kind)

bacon bits
hard boiled egg

Handy Tools:
large salad bowl
medium bowl (enough to hold the chicken)
salad chopper
tongs or salad tossers
flexible cutting mats
George Foreman Grill
Microwave Bacon Cooker

1. Cook chicken. I used the Foreman grill. It takes a few rounds to cook all the chicken, so I multitask that with steps 2 and 3.


 2. Chop tomato.

3. Cook and chop 2-3 slices of bacon.

4. Cut chicken into small pieces and put into medium bowl. Pour about 3 oz. of Frank's Hot Sauce into the bowl and spread evenly onto every piece of chicken.

5. Put Romaine lettuce in large salad bowl. Add chicken, tomato, bacon, and hard boiled egg, and then toss the salad.

 6. Chop with the salad chopper.

7. Add croutons, cheese, and caesar dressing. Toss the salad again, and serve.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Make an Ice Cream Cake

Sometimes you just have to say, "Screw it, I'm going to make an Ice Cream Cake, and it's going to be delicious!"

Here's how:

cake batter (suggest: white cake)
1.5 quarts of ice cream (suggest: cookies and cream)
whipped cream (either make it with heavy whipping cream and vanilla syrup or get Cool Whip)

Any decorations you choose, suggestions:
chocolate syrup (or caramel or both)
Reddi-wip (for the pretty design)

Day One
1. Place a round cake pan in the freezer for at least half an hour.

2. Leave the ice cream on the counter to soften while you make one layer of round cake.
(If you use boxed mix, you can make cupcakes or something with the other half.)

3. Take the cake pan out of the freezer and line it with plastic wrap. Mold the softened ice cream into the plastic wrap lined pan.

4. Cover the top of the ice cream with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer overnight.

5. Half an hour after the cake is out of the oven, take it out of the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack.

6. Once the cake is completely cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer overnight.

Day 2
7. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and set it up to be the bottom layer of the cake.

Aren't you glad you didn't forget the plastic wrap?

8. Cover the ice cream with whipped cream. (Made yourself or Cool Whip.)

9. Unwrap the cake and place it on top of the whipped cream.

10. Cover the cake with a solid layer of whipped cream. Be sure to fill in any gaps in the layers.

11. Decorate it however you like.

Lesson I learned the hard way:
DON'T decorate it with Reddi-wip until right before you serve it. It looks awful if you do it ahead of time because it deflates as it freezes. I scraped it off and redid it because I'm a perfectionist.

How to make whipped cream. (Suggest making it before beginning day 2.)

1 pint heavy whipping cream
vanilla syrup

1. Mix heavy whipping cream and vanilla syrup with a hand mixer. (I just pour some syrup in.)

2. You know it's fully whipped when it does this.

and this. Go ahead, taste it.

Way better than Cool Whip!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yoga Day USA

Yoga Day USA was this past Saturday.

Studios all over the country held free yoga classes and San Antonio was no exception.

I wasn't able to participate as a student in any classes, but that's ok, because I taught 3 classes that day.

The first class was my normal Spectrum class that I'm enjoying very much. That room is a challenge to speak audibly in, but I'm working on it. I have to avoid the temptation to minimize the words I say because I have a lot to teach. I just have to get comfortable projecting my voice or break down and use the microphone. Should I just use the microphone? It seems like a yoga teacher faux pas, but I could be crazy.

Then I went to Two Hearts Yoga and team taught 2 yoga classes with my friend, Stephanie. We were in teacher training together and she's a good friend. I've been going to her Rockin' Vinyasa class on Fridays and really enjoying it. I'm familiar with how she teaches, but she's not that familiar with how I teach, but she does know that I'm pretty into Ashtanga. It was a fun day, and I was a little sore from all the demonstrating.

Since our classes were official yoga meetups, we got rated by some of the students after class. Right now we have 5 ratings with 5 stars. People said such nice things. It's pretty exciting to see that.

“ I really enjoyed this Meetup!!! ”

“ If you want to learn Yoga, this is the place, ”

“I enjoy the classes very much, and look forward to continuing yoga practices. ”

“Stephanie and Becky complimented each other in their teaching styles. The class was excellent!”

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011!

Highlights/Lowlights of 2010:

January: Began teaching part of yoga classes at a Yoga Shala with my yoga mentor, Ken. He's a wonderful teacher and an amazing person, and I'm lucky I met him when I did and got him to agree to be my mentor.

February: Presented my thesis for yoga teacher training. I volunteered to go first and didn't have to worry about it anymore. It went really well, and I was able to organize the basics of my favorite style of yoga in writing.

March: Finished the mentoring part of teacher training.

April: Graduated from Yoga Teacher training. Something I've wanted to do for years, and I'm glad I actually did it.

May: 1. Went of our first vacation since the honeymoon and had a great time in Port Aransas. (Although next time I'd like to go to a prettier, less seaweed covered beach.)
2. Decided in the pool at the Mayan Princess that we're both ready to have kids.
3. Met Wayne Palmer in real life. I've worked with him for years through email and the phone since he lives in New Jersey. We became friends and finally got to see each other in person. That was neat. He's coming again in a few weeks.
4. Was recruited by the Yoga School Director to build a new website because I'm the most tech savvy person she knows and she desperately needed one immediately because of the Texas Workforce Commission. I told her I didn't know what I was doing, but promised to try my best with Brad's help, and did it. Sure, a real website guy could do better, but it's pretty and functional.
5. Touched my face to my shins with my knees straight and my feet flexed. This is a big deal for me because it has been my flexibility weakness all my life.

June: nothing comes to mind. Sorry June.

July: 1. Brad's dad had a heart attack. Someone did CPR and saved his life. Then he had a double bypass. That surgeon saved his life again.
2. Saw Weird Al from the FRONT ROW.

August: Got hired as a yoga teacher at Spectrum. Started substituting classes until one that I wanted opened up.

September: Found out I was pregnant.

1. First appointment with the obstetrician. Saw the fetus's heartbeat. Announced it to the world, because a heartbeat means it's good, right?
2. My good friend, Eric's sister had a miscarriage at 11 weeks.

November: 1. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. Had to announce that to the world, because can't just wait and hope they forget, can you?
2. A coworker suddenly died of a heart attack.

December: 1. Started teaching my own yoga class at Spectrum. At a convenient time and location for me!
2. Eric's 2-year old great dane, Goliath, suddenly died from bloat.
3. Got a badass computer that gives me 60 fps in WoW with all the settings turned up.
4. Brad got a promotion, and will actually be people's supervisor.