Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What is my deodorant doing to my kidneys??!!

Ok. Quick rant that has nothing to do with cloth diapers, or being a mom at all for that matter. Its about Secret deodorant. This morning I happen to glance at the back of my deodorant and notice that it says not to use it if you have kidney disease. WTF??!! Seriously? My deodorant is effecting my kidneys?! As a long time environmentalist I am very aware of the damage that different products and chemicals in the environment can do to your health. But, as a lazy person who sweats a lot, and wants my hair and skin to look decent I have never been into natural cosmetics, etc. This kidney thing, however, calls for more research, and maybe a switch to one of those funky rock crystal deodorant things. I mean if the chemicals are making their way all the way down to my kidneys what other organ systems are they affecting? And what about effects in combination with other products. Didn't society learn anything from Batman (1989)?! I'll probably start by checking out some of the deodorants rated the lowest toxicity on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and work my way up.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I have seen the light - fitted diapers are the way

I feel like I've entered a new stage in my cloth diaper/mommyhood journey. I have now formed an opinion. Ladies and possibly even a few gentleman, the fitted diaper has won my affection. I can't help but enjoy its easy to use snaps, its stretchy leg gussets (is that the right word?), its puffy absorbent area. No folding, no stuffing. And you can get the the Kissaluvs 2.0 for about $12.50. Yes, that's about 3x what the toddler sized Indian cotton prefolds cost. However, the more absorbent Babykicks are about $10, so the savings in minimal, and the convenience, absorbency and comfort of the Kissaluvs 2.0 definitely surpass either prefold.

Kissaluvs 2.0
Pros: Absorbent, easier to use than prefolds, less bulky than prefolds, about the same cost as the more absorbent prefolds, much less expensive than all in one and pocket diapers
Cons: Cost more than indian cotton prefolds

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Priorities - What Have I Done?!

I've accepted a new job, but I'm not excited about it. Since becoming a mom I've thought a lot about my priorities. And one thing I've come to realize is that my best intentions don't always translate into my life. My number one priority is my daughter. She is without a doubt on the top of my mind every hour of the day. Yet, I agreed to take a job, well, really a 4 month rotation, that will require me to give up my work from home time, which essentially will take me away from my daughter for more hours of the week. I've been trying to figure out why I did this and the best I can come up with is that I'm used to the idea of climbing the career ladder, and I haven't adjusted my work attitude to fit my internal beliefs and priorities.

I'm sure tons of working moms are constantly trying to walk the tightrope between their personal and professional priorities. I wonder what kinds of things influence people's decisions. Do they make a decision about what their priorities are and work towards that goal? Do they drift along and let whatever happens happen? How many working moms are working in flexible schedules, part time, etc? Hmmm. I should have been a sociologist. Preferably one that works from home.

Friday, March 19, 2010

OH SNAPI - Yes, I'm still on the diaper thing

Yes, I'm still on this diaper thing. I'm obsessed! So, to follow up from the last post - I did eventually get DD to stop screaming and grabbing at her crochal region every time I put the Bummi Bamboozled on. It was a matter of distracting her for the first couple of minutes that she was wearing it until she forgot that it felt different than the Bum Genius or Disposables. In her defence, though, those things are pretty thick and I imagine it feels pretty weird to have several inches of fuzzy stuffing surrounding your butt.

My next foray into the world of cloth diapering took me to the mysterious, mystical, magical world of The Prefold.

Anatomy of the Prefold

Prefold diapers have a thicker center strip for pee and poo absorbing power. From what I understand, they are called prefolds because people used to fold flat diapers so that they would have more layers in the middle, creating that thick area. Prefolds are diapers that have been "prefolded" and sewn that way for you already. I bought two kinds:

Babykicks which are a hemp/cotton mixture and unbleached Indian Cotton prefolds.

Babykicks Prefolds

Pros: Really absorbent. Doesn't look like anything's going to leak through there! The company claims that hemp has anti fungal/mold, blah, blah, blah properties.

Cons: A bit more expensive than other prefolds. Thick!! They look like they would be really hot in the summer. I also found their sizing to be kind of off. They seemed kind of huge on Alice! Although she didn't seem to mind too much.

And yes, I need practice with the folding.

Unbleached Indian Cotton Prefolds

Thinner than the Babykicks, which makes them easier to fold, and probably cooler in the summer. They are also really cheap!

Thinner - so the pee soaks through faster. They are also not quite wide enough, but a bit too long for my *ahem* robust baby.

Pros: Better than a diaper pin
Cons: Sharp enough to scrape you and/or the babe, not sharp enough to stay stuck into the diaper. Kind of redundant with a diaper cover.

I can't leave out the snappi. What a good idea gone horribly wrong! The idea was to replace the diaper pins. And yes, sharp pins near squirming, chubby legs and bellies sounds like a very bad idea. These rubber contraptions have a claw on the end of each of its three tentacles. The clawed beast is supposed to hook into the diaper, holding it in place, without the fear of piercing your baby (I'm sure she'll do that on her own when she's a teenager). Unfortunately, these little guys slip off pretty easily, and are actually fairly sharp. While a scrape isn't as bad a pierce, its still not something you want. And on top of that, they really aren't all that necessary. The diaper cover already holds everything in place pretty well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cloth Diaper Conundrum

Sometime around the 13th month mark I could think about it without cringing. Then, when my daughter turned 14th months I was ready. By the time she was 15 months old I had a full blown case of the fever - Baby Fever. I wanted another one. I needed another one. STAT. But we weren't financially ready. We needed to buy a house to save on taxes, get into a place with more space, and I needed to accrue days off at work for maternity leave. So, what was I to do with all of this pent up momma energy? Simple - get completely, and totally obsessed with the world of cloth diapering.

Pros: Super duper easy
Cons: A bit bulky, expensive
Problems: Diaper rash
Solutions: Change More Frequently than disposable, Use low residue laundry detergents with no enzymes, wash diaper load on a high water level and then do a second wash with no detergent.

Our cloth diapering days started before the Fever returned. I had been using Bum Genius diapers on my daughter since she was about 2 months old. They were the perfect started diaper for someone new to the CD world, and to parenthood in general. Plus, they were great for breaking Daddy in to the idea of cloth. I started out with just one, and after finding I liked them I bought 3 more. Unfortunately I found that if used more than 2 in a row, my little princess would get a bad rash. I continued to use them off and on, but not at all with the frequency I had planned.


Pros: Anti-bacterial, fungal, yeastal properties; Really soft, cute and comfy
Cons: Expensive, looks like they will be hot in the summer.

It was in February 2010 when the Fever set in and the obsession truly began. It was the Washington D.C. SNOWMAGGEDON's fault really. Days and days trapped inside the house, unable to travel more than a block or two from home. And with a 1 year old, what do you do? You can't watch TV, play board games, clean up the house, knit, read a book, bake cookies together, or even go sledding. So what did we do? We hung out in the lobby of our apartment building, read "Peak a Who?" a thousand billion times, stared out at the snow, and met another mom desperate to get out of her apartment for a few hours.

My new snowmageddon mom friend turned me on to Bamboozles. She said they were super absorbent and that the bamboo had properties that help to repel bacteria, fungus, yeast, and hopefully, diaper rash. Sounded good to me. I found them on line and the friendly interweb informed me that it was a type of fitted diaper. Who knew?


To go along with my new Bamboozle fitted diaper that I didn't know was a fitted diaper I got a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Cover. I can't tell you how excited I was when I get the Bamboozle fitted and the diaper cover in the mail. I couldn't wait to try them on my sweet peanut. The bamboozle needs to be washed 2 or 3 times before they can be worn to remove natural resins (and it takes 10 washes to reach full absorbency). I could barely wait to do the laundry. Finally the day arrived when I could put the all natural, super absorbent, high end fitted diapers onto my little sweetheart. It took a few tries to figure out which way the snaps go, and where to attach the weird little insert piece. Putting the diaper cover on was a breeze. I gathered darling daughter from the changing table, put her down gently on her wobbly, chubby little toddler legs and - she turned into a screaming wreathing, mess, clawing desperately at her diaper area.

I'm a full time work at work mom and this is my blog

I'm the person you see on the metro with spit up on the lapel of her pantsuit, Parents Magazine and laptop bag both propped on her knees, racing home for some quality time before Book, Bath, Bottle, Bed. I work because I have to in order to maintain a decent quality of life for my family, not because I'm an overachiever or I have a big important dream job. My priority is my family, but I do the best I can at everything I do. This is my blog. I'll probably spend a lot of time rambling about things no one cares about, and hopefully a little bit of time giving out some information or telling a story that someone else out there can relate to. Hopefully I'll get some advice as well.