Sunday, June 27, 2010

Must have Baby list...

So I'm packing for another trip home to visit my long distance family and am going over the things I will need for my 4 year old and 6 month old to remain occupied in houses with next to no toys...aka Grandpa's farm. My sister in law is expecting her first baby in the fall and I'm looking around my kid clutter wondering what she needs so I thought I'd share my Must Have Baby list after the second child...Note: this is very different from a mom's first baby must have list, which, due to the paranoid society in which we live, new mom's are conditioned to believe that the socilogical development of thier child will be EXTREMELY enhanced by some gadget or gizmo...I am not a follower of this school of thought so my list is simple.

1. A door hanging jolly jumper. Not a jumparoo. The jolly jumper allows baby from about 3.5 months or head holding time, to rocket themselves thru space in a most enjoyable manner and is easily packable in any suitcase or diaper bag. Both my boys love the door hanging Jolly Jumper and can easily spend more than an hour jumping with glee, and have been known to completely wear themselves out in it and fall asleep with their little heads lolling cutely. I had a jumparoo and it sucked. Big, bulky, any didn't allow baby to do 360's to explore the world around. And the real Jolly Jumper is less than 1/2 the $$.

2. Dingly Dangly noise making toys with chewing gadgets. These come in about 1 trillion different forms and every one is enjoyable to baby. Favorite is the book like plush animals that have different stimulation formats on each page. Disney also has a winnie the pooh animals "flower" and this too is well loved among the babies in my life.

3. Play mat - find one with good stimulating colors and lots of hooks for cool toys. For my first I borrowed a friends and bought aforementioned dingly dangly noise making toys. For the second I bought the Precious Planet mat secondhand for $25 and it is a sweet playmat. Make sure the bottom disconnets so you can wash the mat as spit and slobber will collect in mass amounts during a good play session.

4. An exersaucer - this is only good for a short term, between head holding and crawling so don't break the bank. and if you've got a jolly jumper, the exersaucer may be duplication.

5. You. There is nothing that will bring your child more pleasure than your attention, your smile, a good story read by you, or a snuggle on baby's tickle points.

That is it for my must have list, assuming you've got a crib and boobs for milk. Breast pumps are good is your exclusively breastfeeding but not used as much as you think they'll be. Grobags are ok, but not worth the $$, cheaper versions work great. And I've already posted on cloth diapers so that's all I've got for today.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Calgary Perennial Garden in June

What's out and about in a Calgary garden? My tulips are just finishing their show, and I'll have to split them this fall. Moss phlox has been on show for over a month. Bleeding hearts are just popping the first of thousands of those beautiful drops. Mayday, crabapple, plum and chokecherry are done, their last fragrant wisps have left my backyard. Lilacs are fading, but their scent is still strong. and this week my globeflowers exploded in yellow as well. Dianthus, a biannual, are on their 3rd season and I even split some clumps this year. Front yard bigroot geraniums are peeking out a few flowers but the backyard ones are a few weeks behind. One lonely purple tongued bearded iris has flowered in a pot.

Anticipation is building as my lupins have beautiful heads about to pop. Peonies have formed buds and the ants are marching up and down. Still shooting upwards are the delphiniums, yarrow, shasta daisies, meadowsweet, sedums, poppies...hmmm what else do I have back there?? Beebalm, daylilies, lilies, hollyhocks, more irises, wild rose, david garden phlox....all these grow really well in my new neighborhood soil.

What is struggling are mock orange, hydrangea, regular apple trees. And surprisingly my hostas are just peeking out of the's almost July! I can't recall if this is normal, but now that I've blogged it out, I'll know for next year! I know that I was impressed with the spread of the hostas sometime last August.

I am sad though as it appears I killed a few rows of my vegetable garden by putting mushroom compost a little too thickly as topdressing. My carrots, lettuce, green onion, and some peas have yet to poke their heads thru and it's been 5.5 weeks since planting. Beets, spinach, sunflower, potatoes, beans and some peas are a few inches tall. Yum!

Update on Kuwaii cloth diapers....kill that smell please!

so after raving for months and months, I unhappily noticed something awful about my precious diapers. They were really starting to stink! with the warmer weather, my laundry room was a cesspool if I didn't wash daily. The smell continued to get worse. I tried sunning them. I tried hot water washes. Then one day I recognized the smell....chicken coop. Ammonia. My diapers were reeking of ammonia. I remembered one lady telling me her poor baby's penis was bleeding from ammonia levels in his pee being too high. I began to watch for signs of illness in my Peanut Butter baby. I began to search ebay for new diaper inserts, thinking maybe I'd try bamboo or hemp to compare the difference vs. microfibre.

Then I googled "Ammonia cloth diaper" and all was illuminated! Turns out detergents build up on diapers, especially my favorite microfiber filled Kuwaii's. And blog after blog said that Rockin Green diaper detergent was a kick ass way to kill that ammonia smell fast. So off to the Rockin Green site, and I found a retailer right here in town! She dropped off the detergent the same day and my testing began with the 1 hr soak. Didn't work. Too much detergent and diapers still smell like a chicken coop! Soaked the other half of my stash overnight and BAM! the smell is gone!

volunteering sucks...a bible girl gone bad

so isn't volunteering supposed to make you feel like you're contributing to society? Give you the warm fuzzies and add a bit of spring into your Mary Poppins step? why does it just irritate me? how many hours should it take to organize 150 volunteers for a community bbq? Alot! Too many. Lucky for me it's all over come saturday!

I was raised Uber-religious. First Catholic, then Pentecostal Assemblies, and then the Victory Chuch. I was a peer-tutor, I taught Sunday School, I was awarded the United Way award for volunteering. I used to love to volunteer and didn't really feel like it was demanding too much of me. Now, between 2 kids, a man, a long distance family and daily life, I'm full up of giving. This community bbq just reminds of that fact.

When I was in bible school I volunteered at the homeless shelter as good Christian girls should. Problem was, I didn't really see those people as real people. And now, a more mature and worldwise me knows they didn't really appreciate the little pep chat I had to spew at them out of moral compunction. Since I left the church (mostly the Victory cult) I've learned so much about really seeing people as people rather than projects to be fixed. Nobody wants to be someone's pet project.

So I'm a bible girl gone bad. Lived in sin - it was the best decision I made during my early 20's. My husband and I have a great relationship and are very well matched. I am a member at an Alliance church that doesn't jump all over every decision and ask me to accept the word of church leaders as a direct word from above. I think there are alot of ex-Victory Church-ers out there, scarred from the demands of that church and the money hungry Hills. How is their retirement home in Hawaii anyway? I think God is trying to tell me to let it go. I get that feeling every time I drive by the Victory Church that sprang up in my neighborhood a few years ago. The feeling creeps in when I get little notices in the mail from them and it makes me want to scream, run down there and graffiti a warning on the front doors. Things are not as they appear people!!!So what brought on this rant? Hubby is watching season 2 of True Blood and they're showing the Leadership Retreat of the Church of the Sun....uncanny how true to life it is!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

volunteering & I found a Nanny!

so i'm coordinating a bbq for 3500 people for my son's soccer team. Sounds like fun right? It's not as much work as I thought, but still no picnic, considering I'm trying to get a big chunk done the night before vacation. I'm stressin'...the glass of wine is helping but I'm still stressing. On a positive note, I have hired a nanny to come from overseas once I return to work. I cannot tell you how much this has weighed on both me and Hubs, as we had stay at home moms. Aren't nannies for the super rich elitist snobs? ahem, nope!

For about $50 more per month, we will have a very sweet lady living in our basement as compared to a dayhome down the street and about $300 per month less than institutional daycare. So now we're the people who pay someone else to raise their child. Not sure how I feel about that statement, as it's just so damn negative. Is this sweet lady going to be 'raising my child'? For my own sanity I have to say no, but maybe just a tad? An inch or so of raising? Where are the peer reviewed studies that show the differences between kids of working moms vs stay at home moms? stay tuned for how this nanny situation works out.

I remember being little to a certain degree. My amazing mother did not spend all day coddling us and teaching us craft skills. She was way too busy for that! There were cows to milk, pigs to feed, gardening to do, and 3 siblings kicking around. Most of the time she shooed us outside or put us to work on some project or another. We ate meals in front of the TV. We had no bedtimes, just fell asleep on the floor watching MASH. Starting at age 5, we had about an hours worth of work in the barns, although I'm not sure how helpful we were, at age 5. I can't give my kids that. And I have to remind myself wayyy to often that that's okay.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I love cloth diapers

This has been my favorite topic since DS was born 6 m ago and noone - NOONE - i know shares my passion. Hubs makes fun of me continually as I could discuss the merits of cloth diapers for hours so here it is people - my favorite cloth diapers:
  1. . Snazzy Minky AIO by KuWaii: available online via ebay (where I bought mine for about $7 each) or direct from importer at See what I mean, I sound like she pays me to advertize for her but I searched and searched and searched for a reasonably priced super cute microfiber fill diaper and this is where I found them! I bought 12 5 months ago and still love them - my 6 m old looks so cute in all the patterns! But now after 5 months, I'm looking to upgrade the inserts to bamboo for the nightime big wettin' as he's a little wet after 12 hr sleep.
  2. Okay, that my only favorite, the others I have 1 or 2 each and am not sooo in love with as follows:
  3. MonkeyDoodlz AIO: sizing is small, but fit is snug and trim. Solid colors are boring compared to snazzy minky.
  4. Another ebay buy at $4.50 each are Beileson (or something like that) direct from China. These do the job, but are leaky at sides and more industrial than cute!
  5. Happy Heinies Sherpa - didn't really hold alot of moisture when used with a cover, but when used without a cover (on a warm day) worked great! They fit small so beware if you have a jumbo child like mine!
  6. I even sewed a few of my own, but never found a free pattern that made sense or worked, and after factoring in the costs, found it cheaper to buy them.
If I didn't have a rockin' job to go back to after mat leave - I'd be importing cloth diapers. Everytime I change him, I feel like I'm doing something good for the planet, and he looks so damn cute. As for my naysayer friends who deem cloth to be too much work, it just makes me feel like even more of a supermom. Okay, well baby is awake and demanding attention so off I go!

hmmm my first blog

so last week an amazing girlfriend tells me about her blog - her secret place to air all her private laundry and see who else cares. I loved the idea, so am being a copycat friend. She's gonna kill me when she finds out! But seriously, there are so many things in my life that I'd love to talk about and noone wants to listen. Don't get me wrong, i'm not a social outcast, have a great Hubs and great friends, but with each there are things we have in common and things we don't and not a single stop drop zone for everything thats buzzing around in my head. Hello Age of Convienience? Now Generation? I need a one stop defuzz zone for my brain...will a blog satisfy?