Monday, March 31, 2014

Cloth Diaper Revelation 3.0

Our favorite baby is 6.5 months old, but we are still trying to master the art of cleaning our cloth diapers in hard water.  Much like pimping, sifting through all the info on cloth diapering and figuring out what works for us ain't easy.

Originally, I was using Rocking Green soap but then I was all like, “Shit’s expensive.  Any free and clear soap should do according to all the things I read.”  So I started using the Biokleen free and clear powdered detergent combined with Calgon and that seemed to work.  For a while.  Then I stripped the diapers with RLR.  The first time went great and I thought I was in love.  Then I did it a second time and I was pretty Meh about it.

My inserts were not as fluffy as they once were and they weren't absorbing as well and I was starting to get sad about it, so I did MORE research, because that’s what I do, and I decided a week or two ago to go back to the beginning, with some changes.

For the record, I’m not affiliated with Rockin Green or Calgon or anyone or anything other than myself and my desire to get my diapers clean and working in an optimal state or something.

I ordered Rockin Green’s Hard Rock (in Lavender Mint scent, because it was cheaper) from Amazon along with some Funk Rock.  I followed the instructions on the Funk Rock and soaked my diapers in it for a couple of hours, then realized I should have soaked them in the Rockin Green instead, so I threw some of that in there, too, and let it sit for a few more hours.  Then I washed them per the instructions on the Rockin Green, including a second rinse at the end (which I don’t normally do).

I've got to say, I wish I had never deviated from the cleaning power and brilliance of Rockin Green.  Not counting the initial prep wash, I have washed my diapers twice since I received my Rockin Green in the mail and my inserts are already way fluffier than they have been for the past month or so.  I’ve been throwing a tablespoon of funk rock in with my pre-rinse, then about 3 tablespoons of Rockin Green for the wash and yeah.  No more Calgon.  No more stripping with RLR.  No more using other, less superior soaps.  This is obviously true love because Rockin Green let me go, but I came back.  And it let me come back. 

Don’t worry, Rockin Green, girl, baby doll.  I love you and I will never leave you again.  My eye may wander from time to time, but I know you’re the soap for me.  Sure you’re a bit on the spendy side, but you’re worth it.  Only the best for my baby’s bottom.

Also, I have a box of Calgon and decided to use it with my regular laundry.  Terrible idea.  I washed all my bedding and my favorite blanket came out kind of coarse feeling, if that makes sense?  The texture is just off, and I’m big on texture.

In other news…

Hamburglar McCloud, aka Chumbercules, aka Sir Screams-a-Lot, is becoming more and more mobile.  He’s not quite crawling yet, but he gets on all fours and rocks.  And he rolls, army crawls, and does a version of The Worm where he scoots his butt towards his belly, then lifts his front up and throws it forwards.  Of course, with this mobility comes more interest in the things we would rather he not be interested in; like the DVDs and the fire place.  I am impressed with his efforts to remove the giant bolts from the cast iron fire place doors, though.  I did finally put outlet covers in, though.  He was getting over to the outlets a bit too often for my taste.

And I think that's it... for now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just big-boned

I was listening to NPR on my way to work this morning (surprise!) and they were talking about some law suit thing by the Hobby Lobby against the Affordable Care Act or something because they don't want to pay for their employees to have access to the morning after pill or IUDs.  But everything else is fine?  I don't get it.  And the dude they were interviewing referred to Plan B as an abortifacient.

Plan B, the morning after pill, emergency contraception, whatever you want to call it, does not cause abortions.  That pissed me off in the Walking Dead, too, when what's her name had Glenn go and get her a bunch of Plan B and she was eating it like candy to cause a miscarriage or some shit.  It doesn't work that way.  It can prevent conception if taken soon enough after unprotected sex.

So, that got me a little mad this morning.  The whole miseducation about what emergency contraceptives actually are and what they do.  Then I got kind of mad that I was getting mad about it.  Then I wondered why it was even considered "news" to begin with, then I started thinking about Chuck Palahniuk and his book, Lullaby.  He writes:
Old George Orwell got it backward.  Big Brother isn't watching.  He's singing and dancing.  He's pulling rabbits out of a hat.  Big Brother's busy holding your attention every moment you're awake.  He's making sure you're always distracted.  He's making sure you're fully absorbed.  He's making sure your imagination withers.  Until it's as useful as your appendix.  He's making sure your attention is always filled.  And this being fed, it's worse than being watched.  With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind.  With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world."
The book is really good, but don't read it if you have just had or are about to have a baby.  SIDS is kind of a character in the book in a way and, well, I picked it up to read again shortly after the wee babe was born and I promptly put it back on the bookshelf.

These are the things I think about when I read the news.  Or when I spend too much time on the internet.

In other news...

I know I call Hamburglar "Fatty," but he's not really fat.  He's just giant.  Well, not really.  Kind of.  He's a big baby.  And he is strong as fuck.  I was thinking about how strong he is during a late night feeding (the same one where I purchased this for the baby) and I came to the conclusion that Chumbercules is kind of like a celebrity in the sense that his primary job is to keep his body in tip top shape or something.  I mean, he spends most of his waking moments doing strength training and conditioning his core.  He doesn't really sit still any more.  Really, he's an inspiration and a reminder that every moment spent awake is a moment that can be used to better yourself.

And I think about that while I watch him exercise and I watch Netflix and eat ice cream.  Or something.

We saw Dr. Soulpatch on Friday.  My favorite baby weighs 19.6 pounds.  We still aren't really feeding him solids, just tastes of stuff, though yesterday I was feeding him some sweet potatoes and he was really into it, then a little while later he spit them up on me.  So that was nice.  At least it encouraged me to bathe us both.

I've been kind of obsessed with Radio Flyer lately and I think for Hamburglar's first birthday I am going to get him this.

Oh!  And the floor is done in the nursery.  I just need to wash the walls now so we can paint them with Killz to seal in all the grossness, then go to Sherwin Williams before the end of the month to get paint before my 30% off coupon expires.  We are going with the Benjamin Moore color Kiwi .  Although, it doesn't look as bright when I view it on a computer monitor.  Hmmm...

Whatever.  I'll post pictures of the nursery if we ever finish it.  I also found this tutorial and now I really want to make an abacus.  But I also really want to sleep and for this teething thing to be over and to have a live-in nanny/housekeeper/chef.

Hamburglar played with Dog Park Girl's baby over the weekend.  And by "played" I mean we put them on a blanket, belly down, near each other and he rolled onto his back and she proceeded to grab his face like a bowling ball.  She has to wear a helmet because the back of her head was super flat and, when Hamby grabbed her helmet, she started crying.  Then he started crying.  It was just a big old tear fest.  It was good, though.  Dude doesn't spend much time around babies and Mr. Adventure says it's good to get him socialized with people his own age or something.

Okay.  That's all.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An opinion on vaccines (because it's, apparently, on my mind)

Here we are, Internet.  My favorite baby is now 6 months old.  He’s in the middle of getting his first teeth and he goes from being hilariously happy to screaming like he is on fire in a matter of seconds.  He is becoming easier to burp (finally!) and he’s great overall.  We are going to see Dr. Soulpatch on Friday for his 6 month wellness exam.  I started scheduling his vaccinations for Friday afternoons so I can be home with him all weekend when he isn't feeling well.

I know some people don’t believe in vaccinating their kids, and to those people, I would like to say that you are foolish and ignorant.  Let me now tell you all a story.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Andrew Wakefield.  He was a British surgeon and medical researcher who published a paper in 1998 claiming there was a link between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.  For the non-sciencey folks out there: in order for a scientific experiment to be valid, it has to be reproducible.  This means the measurements made under the same operating conditions over a period of time and/or by different people should yield the same results.  Scientists tried for four years to reproduce Wakefield's results and were unable to do so.  It turned out that Wakefield had conflicts of interest and manipulated evidence. 

Speaking as a scientist, that is unethical at the very least and illegal in many cases as well.
Wakefield’s paper was originally published in a peer-reviewed medical journal called The Lancet.  His paper was partially retracted in 2004 and fully retracted in 2010.  He was also found guilty of professional misconduct in 2010 and had his medical license revoked.  You can read more about it on Wikipedia*. 

MotherJones magazine printed a fun article on how people that are anti-vaccine are stubborn about it.  I’m going to assume their stubbornness is not born of a desire for their children to die and/or suffer from preventable diseases.

Early this year, Amy Parker wrote an article that was published in Slate on her experiences growing up unvaccinated.  It’s, at the very least, a good read.

If anyone reading this is on the fence about vaccinating their children, I encourage you to do so, both as a scientist and fellow human.  Can you imagine a world where your baby gets polio?  Or measles?  Or dies of whooping cough?  Because that’s happening.  Babies are dying of whooping cough.  There was a 9 day old infant in my state who died of whooping cough around the time Hamburglar was born.  It scared me.  It takes a lot of work to make and deliver a baby. 

I would feel terrible if I could have done something to prevent an unnecessary death.  Like vaccinating my wee babe.  That’s also why I got the Vitamin K shot for McCloud in the hospital.  It didn't do any harm and, even though the chance of him getting a brain hemorrhage was super rare, I would have felt terrible if I could have easily prevented it and instead sat by and did nothing.

If you want to bed share and/or breastfeed your baby until he/she goes off to college, more power to you.  If you have no desire to breastfeed at all, who gives a shit?  If you're into attachment parenting or not?  If you like Dr. Spock or Dr. Sears?  I don't care.  That’s your business.  But you not vaccinating your baby is all of our business because it affects public health. 

At the very least, I encourage you to do your own research.  Don’t blindly follow someone who doesn't know what they are talking about.  And don’t adopt an opinion just because it’s the first one you hear.  I believe in your ability to think for yourself and make an informed decision using real science.

*I recognize that Wikipedia isn't considered a scientifically reputable source and some people question it's awesomeness, but I love it and I find it to be reliable for the things I tend to link to.  But, seriously, don't take my word for anything.  Research it yourself!  It will be awesome, I swear.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Mombie Hour

I've been awake since 4 a.m.  A certain tiny terrorist (you know who you are!) woke me up before my alarm clock (which is set for 4:18 a.m.).  I saw it was 4, and I was okay with that.  I thought, “Oh!  I can make it in to work by 5 or a little after to make up for going in to work so late yesterday.”

That did not happen.

At 5:30 a.m., when I still could not get my tiny terrorist back to sleep (tinorist?  That doesn’t work.  I’m sure I’ll come up with something) I started getting grumpy.  The dogs wanted to go outside and eat their breakfast.  They were making this known through things like putting their noses on the baby and flapping their ears back and forth in a move I like to call “Helicopter Puppy.”  And Owen only does it because Rupert does.

The dogs are terrorists, too.

So, I declared my done-ness with trying to get my favorite baby back to sleep (“I’m done!  Go to sleep!”), I wrapped him in his blanket (arms out, since he’s so good at rolling now), I turned on his mobile (a free one I received from a coworker that plays classical music) and I fled the room, quietly but quickly.

As I whined about it to Mr. Adventure (who was up early, trying to get his homework done during the only time the house is quiet) he was sympathetic.  Then, we heard the much dreaded sound of baby squawks coming from the bedroom that indicated our tiny bundle of blood-curdling screams had not gone back to sleep as we had hoped.

Mr. Adventure tagged himself in to baby duty and sent me off to work.  At least here all the noise is white noise and all my problems are solvable.

Poor baby is teething, still.  Obviously.  And that first tooth still hasn’t broken through.  He has started grabbing my hand, putting my finger in his mouth, and shaking his head back and forth until his gums make a squeaking sound.

He will be six months old in 5 days.  I read somewhere when I was pregnant that each day drags on and seems like a hundred days, but time goes by so fast.  I think that’s a pretty accurate description.  At least of the first six months so far.

Hamburglar is getting ready to go through mental leap 6, according to the Wonder Weeks, and I’m assuming that is why he has been screaming like he is on fire.  Like the night before last, we were just hanging out, and he went from totally fine to screaming like he was on fire in about 15 seconds.  I still have no idea what was wrong with him.  Teething?  Growth spurt?  Practicing for a future career as the lead singer in a scream punk band? 

What else?  Rupert and Mr. Adventure just had birthdays.  I had cocktails!  It was amazing.  We played Cards Against Humanity and drank the pitcher of Washington Apples I made.  And it was nice, until my favorite terrorist awoke from his slumber in the middle of the night.  I bottle fed him then went to bed.

I saw some post on baby center or something that some chick had written that basically said, “Why would you drink when you’re breastfeeding?  Are you such a raging alcoholic that you can’t wait a year for a drink?”  To her, I would like to say, Andate a la verga!  Which, translated literally, means “walk to the dick” and basically means go fuck yourself.  But I like to tell people to walk to the dick.  As long as you aren't feeding your baby tit whiskey, you’re fine.  And, according to the research I've done, a glass or two of wine won’t kill your baby.  If you are too buzzed to drive, you are too buzzed to breastfeed.  Alcohol leaves your milk like it leaves your blood, so pumping to try to pull out the alcohol is stupid.  You should/need to pump to maintain milk supply if your breasts feel full and you’re still drunk and you should give your baby a bottle until you sober up.  La Leche League has some good info on drinking and breastfeeding.

Be smart if you’re going to drink.  Don’t drink like you did in college.  Or like I did in college.  Especially not like I did in college.

Kellymom has a really good breakdown of tips on drinking and breastfeeding, like waiting two hours after having a glass of wine or two.

Also, I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong or what, but I don’t think I like RLR for stripping diapers.  I know that I definitely hate my washing machine because it has that auto lock bullshit going on.  All I want to do is open the fucking washing machine to see if there are suds coming off my diapers still so I know if I need to keep rinsing or if I can dry them.  But no.  Auto lock won’t let me.  

I think the washing machine is in cahoots with the dogs and baby.  They’re plotting something.  I know it.

Also, Little Monsters diapers are amazing.

That is all. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teething is bullshit

Admit it.  You knew this was coming.  A post about teething.  "But, Olivia!  You hate cliches!"  Yeah.  I fucking know.  But teething is some serious bullshit.

I could spend the next three paragraphs whining about how tired I am, but instead I will write about the wonders of whiskey and frozen waffles.  I have a tiny airplane bottle of Jameson I use to rub on Hamburglar's gums on occasion, when it seems like that stubborn little tooth is particularly troublesome (none of that cheap whiskey for us!) and a friend suggested letting him gnaw on frozen waffles and OH MY GOD IT IS AMAZING.  Plus, once he's done crumbling up the waffle and throwing it on the floor, the dogs come and eat it, so clean up is simple.

He's been very interested in people food for a couple of months now, so we've been letting him taste things.  Most recently, I gave him a bit of banana.  He loved it.  And Mr. Adventure gave him some chili a week or two ago.  I was at work.  He said Chubs liked it, though.  It's fun watching him try new foods.  He takes it in his mouth and gets this contemplative look on his face, then he typically smiles, as if to say, "I like that."  But he tries to eat all food like it's milk.  He was sucking on the side of the banana, then started sucking on the peel.

I ran into a coworker who lives in my neighborhood yesterday.  She asked me how the baby is and I proceeded to show her pictures on my phone until she got a panicked look in her eyes and made an excuse to escape.  You may have won this round, polite coworker, but I will see you again!

Also, Fatty and I went to the grocery store yesterday, and all the crazies were out.  There were these two large fellows throwing around giant ground pork sausages in the meat section (and, no, that's not a euphemism for anything) and there was some crazy old lady by the cheese, coughing, and saying, "wait until you get bronchitis," and I wasn't sure if she was talking to me or the cheese or herself... and she kept trying to talk to me and then she took a step toward me with her hand stretched out in front of her and said, "Can I offer you a piece of advice?"  I said no thank you and walked away.  It was really weird.  Mr. Adventure was more concerned about it than I was, though.  He text me, asking me if I'd called the grocery store to complain and encouraged me to take a shower and give the baby a bath.  And I did.  But, as we all know, nothing good comes from showering before feeding a baby.

Within an hour of getting out of the shower (I even washed my hair.  An activity typically reserved for weekends), I was feeding my tiny man and getting him ready for bed and he spit up all over me.  Not once, but twice.  All over my nightgown and my hair.  And he looked so happy about it, so I laughed, and that got him laughing...  I rinsed my hair in the sink, but I'm pretty sure there is still baby vomit in it.  And I don't care.  Is that the mark of motherhood?

Also, holy balls I need some sleep.  Mr. Adventure's birthday was yesterday and we are having a cocktail/game night on Saturday.  I found this amazingly weird serial killer trivia board game thing and I borrowed Cards Against Humanity from a coworker.  I've got beer, a box of wine, a bottle of gin and a bottle of whiskey.  Magic will happen.

Oh, and I started a group fitness class.  It is an hour long on Saturdays.  Last Saturday was my first class and my legs just stopped hurting yesterday.

That is all.