Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

2010 is just around the corner. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I thought I'd try it this year.

1. Lose 20 pounds. Well, at least 15. Okay, I'll be happy with 10. Why did I look better 6 months post-partum than 19 months?

2. Get ready for my spring garden. I was a slacker last year. I want to start my seeds on time, prepare my soil, and keep weeds at bay. I like being able to walk outside and gather a salad. I don't like paying for organic veggies at the store.

3. Prepare for 1st grade. No, I'm not going back to school, but Olivia will be starting 1st grade. I'd like to get a schedule worked out and a general idea of what we'll study. I won't make detailed lesson plans for every day, but I think we both need a little structure.

4. Build a house. We've been planning to build a house for almost 7 years. I've got my fingers crossed that THIS will be the year.

5. Finish my house plans. See #4.

6. That's enough. If I can do #1-5, I'll be happy.

What's on your list?

Monday, December 21, 2009


During the holiday season, we tend to look back over the year that's ending and look forward to the one that's about to begin. We spend time with family. We count our blessings.

We're a family of four living on one income, but we pay off our credit cards every month. Our vehicles have 140K, 280K, and 320K miles on them, but they run (most of the time). Our mobile home shrinks a little more each year, but we've got a roof over our heads, hot water, air conditioning in the summer, and heat in the winter. We've got a fridge full of food and plenty of clothes in our closets. I'm relatively healthy, have a loving and faithful husband, healthy and happy children, and a caring family. I get to stay home with my kids, watch them grow, and help shape them into little people. I've even got a little extra money for hobbies (all I need is more time!).

I hope your life is even half as good as mine!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dapper Diapers

I impressed a friend of mine the other day. I was looking at some pictures of his new baby on Facebook when I spied a cloth diaper peeking out of Baby's onesie. Here are the comments that followed:

Me: Is that a bumGenius I see??
Friend: Why yes it is. I'm surprised (a) that you know what they are and (b) you can tell from that picture.

What can I say? I'm a cloth diaper junkie. I always get excited when I find out someone uses cloth diapers. My husband wasn't surprised when I bragged about them to my pregnant dental hygienist. He used to kid me about spending so much time on DiaperSwappers. Several people have asked me "Why do you use cloth diapers? Why don't you just buy disposables?" Here's why (in no particular order):

1. Cloth diapers are cheaper over the long run. When you use disposables, you're literally throwing money away.

2. Cloth diapers are better for the environnment. According to one site "It is estimated that roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually. It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone. Although some disposables are said to be biodegradable; in order for these diapers to decompose, they must be exposed to air (oxygen) and sun. Since this is highly unlikely, it can take several hundred years for the decomposition of disposables to take place, with some of the plastic material never decomposing." Also, "when flushing solids from a cloth diaper down the toilet and washing the diapers in a washing machine, the contaminated, dirty water from both toilet and washing machine go into the sewer systems where they are properly treated at wastewater plants. This treated wastewater is much more environmentally friendly than dumping untreated soiled disposable diapers into a landfill."

3. Cloth diapers are healthier for Baby. Possible health hazards due to disposable diapers include toxic shock syndrome, allergic reactions, male infertility, asthma, urinary tract infections in baby girls, and immune system and hormone system impairment.

4. Cloth diapers lead to earlier potty training because the child feels wet. The chemicals in disposables absorb so much moisture that the child never feels wet.

5. Cloth diapers are so darn cute!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Desperate Housewives

I've never seen the show and don't know what it's about, but I wanted to borrow the title. A lot of people think we live lives of leisure. You know - lounging on the couch with a good book, munching on bonbons, sipping champagne - that kind of thing. Well, maybe some do. But most of us are also stay-at-home moms. Our days are filled with changing diapers, kid-wrangling, cleaning, grocery shopping, refereeing, cooking, washing little hands and faces, laundry, cleaning, giving piggy-back rides, picking up toys, reading books, and cleaning. (Yes, there’s a lot of cleaning.)

Sometimes I get to escape for a little while. Once in a while I walk to the mailbox by myself. I get my teeth cleaned twice a year (20 minutes each way with nothing but the radio making noise, a few moments to look at a magazine in peace). Occasionally I ask my mother-in-law to babysit while I get groceries (no kids crawling in and out of buggies, no shoes getting kicked off in WalMart, nobody asking me to buy something on every aisle). When the kids are asleep, I might curl up with Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh (ignore the laundry, forget the dishes, no 18-month-old crying because his ball rolled under the couch, no 5-year-old asking me what M-a-d-a-g-a-s-c-a-r spells). When I’m really lucky, I get to go on a date with my husband!

Most days I don't know whether I'm coming or going. I would love to lounge on the couch with a good book, munching on bonbons, sipping champagne (actually, lounge on the couch with a good book, a bag of chocolate chips, and a glass of milk), but I’ve got laundry to cook, supper to bathe, kids to fold. You know what I mean.