Thursday, October 30, 2008


i saw a house tee-peed recently and this card made me laugh...i realize how old i am now...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

40 clove chicken...pshaw

pshaw...wondering if that makes sense...i never attempted to spell it...anyway - after an inspiring episode of alton brown on garlic i decided to attempt the recipe he had for 40 clove chicken. i knew we were having company and i knew i wanted to make a soup with the leftovers so i added some more chicken pieces and thought i would add some more garlic. having a husband that is half italian however, i know from experience to laugh in the face of a recipe that calls for measly garlic. i typically triple the amount they ask for...this is funny and i pause because i realized that i did this last week when he confessed that he never puts in less than 6 cloves in recipes...anyway - i just started peeling the cloves and then decided to count later...what started as 40 clove chicken turned into 75 clove chicken...yes...75 cloves and i have never had a better response to my chicken before...the other 2 boys that came over for dinner dont usually eat roasted garlic, but did and loved it, so i thought i would pass this recipe along since it made me such a star...

40 Cloves Plus a Chicken
1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
40 peeled cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.
(PS - i stole this image off the internet - i didnt take a picture of my chicken and garlic...or should i say garlic and chicken but picture this with a boat load more garlic!!!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

i'm huge...

i was just looking through our pictures over the weekend and was totally shocked by this picture. all my grand ideas of being smaller with this pregnancy and not gaining as much weight are totally gone...i have been eating so healthy and chasing after bryson and keeping active...i guess my body likes to do pregnant this way...totally huge!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

dont judge a pumpkin...

bryson was looking forward to carving pumpkins with his mee-ma and papa (bryan's parents) all week. we went and picked out our pumpkins and i got a white one, "cause i'm white" i joked. bryson said, "i want to be white like my mommy." kathy asked him, "do you want to be white like your mommy or brown like your daddy." "i want to be brown like my daddy." i laughed and said, "you get what you get're stuck with your skin." he replied, "bummer". that is his new word...bummer...i laughed so hard - he is cracking me up are our pumpkins...

Friday, October 24, 2008

peter fernandez falls in love

i was so looking forward to peter fernandez today. these were just so priceless...not that the last couple ones have not been priceless, but i think he put a lot of thought into these two. By the way - i print it out exactly as it reads, if you can't read it yourself when you click on the picture...he really does put the "and" symbol & and a comma afterward almost every time. its part of what i love about him...

The top reads, " Photo shows Peter Fernandez of San Fernando City with whiz bass plucker Sally Jo Curtis interpreting the homely skills of an energetic Hawaiian cowgirl in preparing palatable desserts out of bananas, jackfruits & strawberries, & to include her stringing passion in making attractive leis of flowers, leaves & pearly shells. Taken on August 14, 2008 at a lively Summer Beats Concert in Los Angeles.

The bottom one reads, "Photo shows Peter Fernandez of San Fernando City with lovely Heather Navales, a chosen 2008 first runner-up in the Miss Philippines-Universe of Los Angeles Beauty Pageant, interpreting on goodwill & good education carried meritously through the influence of her parents & could easily attract people of her own kind. Taken on September 13, 2008 at the lively Celebration of Filipinos in downtown Los Angeles."

i cracked up at that line..."could easily attract people of her own kind" what a poetic way to say how he was attracted to her...i am on to you Peter and your interpretations!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

prop 4

at our jr league meeting last week some ladies from our State Public Affairs Committee (or SPAC) spoke about some of the upcoming propositions and gave resources on where to find more information. i always find it difficult to get clear answers on propositions and found one of their suggestions to actually have some good non-partisan information - it is the League of Women Voters and more specifically to me, the California Leage of Women Voters.

One of the things the woman from SPAC said has stuck with me - she said when she votes on a measure or proposition that requires funding or bonds or higher taxes, whatever, she asks herself, "is this necessary." Now, she finds herself asking, "can we afford it?" its not something you think to ask, but perhaps people will adjust their voting in these tighter economic times...especially in the state of california with our budget still being highly debated. in our LB Press Telegram there was an editorial written by Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Morrie) who said something that i felt was simple and profound...he said, "i have never seen higher taxes result in a more efficient government" just think on that for a minute...

it is fairly easy for me as a libertarian to vote on propositions...i generally vote NO on ANYTHING requiring additional funding...makes it simple...anything that grows government - anything that hikes taxes gets a big NO from me...not like i dont read them...i do...but generally speaking they usually get a no vote from me. HOWEVER, this year i got some free time to do a little research and came across proposition 4 and as a parent, i felt it deserved to give this prop a little attention.

This is what the CA league of women voters has to say about prop 4:
A YES vote on this measure means:
The State Constitution would be changed to require that a physician notify, with certain exceptions, a parent or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.

A NO vote on this measure means:
Minors would continue to receive abortion services to the same extent as adults. Physicians performing abortions for minors would not be subject to notification requirements.

i think that is the best way to describe it. it is being funded by Sarah's Law...if you are wondering who Sarah is...

Sarah was only 15 when she had a secret abortion. Within days a high fever set in. No one knew why, or how seriously ill she was. By the time she was hospitalized and doctors determined she had a deadly infection from a torn cervix, it was too late. Sarah died. Had someone in her family known about the abortion, Sarah's life could have been saved.

i don't know too many parents who would NOT want to be notified if their child was receiving ANY sort of medical attention, let alone an abortion. i think this is a parent's rights issue and i am personally stunned that the current law is what it is.

Please look more into are some sites:

Monday, October 20, 2008

cookie man

whenever bryson is incredibly annoying we call him the cookie man...taken from one of our favorite college movies...kicking and screaming (not the one with will ferral - the funny one by director Noah Baumbach). for instance when he is crawling all over us in bed=cookie man, or when we are trying to have an adult conversation this morning at the breakfast table regarding an upcoming proposition and bryson is interrupting every 2 seconds asking for candy corn=cookie man, or when i am trying to use the restroom and he barges in every time=cookie man. you get the picture. anyway - this morning i called him cookie man and he got offended...i laughed because he told me he wasnt the cookie man and he didnt have cookies on his neck...whatever that means. anyway - i showed him this clip and i think he got it...paybe...

i also wanted to inlcude this picture mainly for my mom's sake. look mom - he wanted to get dressed all by himself today. he picked out his entire outfit. so there you go...i am getting it back for all the fights we had about me wanting to wear what i picked out...i hope this makes you happy...i will continue to be punished by this child and i am sure you will delight in that

Sunday, October 19, 2008

beer, spiders and pumpkins oh my!

this weekend was somewhat eventful, but absolutely wonderful. all 3 of us got to do things that we each love - bryan=golf / carlee=sew in peace / bryson=jacuzzi - plus we had friends over and wonderful adult conversation...which doesn't happen as often as one with children would like and so when one can achieve it - its like a tall glass of water i guess. sunday we went to church and truly rested...i even got to nap by myself (gasp).

after a long hiatus i started brewing again thanks to rebecca who, along with her husband john, came over on saturday to help with a special christmas brew (its a secret...since they are presents so i'll just have to tell you later what kind of hops i used etc max!). anyway - it was definitely the best brewing experience i have had - i am hoping that reflects in the beer. bryson and their son asher played the entire 4 or 5 hours and no was amazing to me that bryson is old enough to have a friend over to play somewhat unsupervised...i dont think i ever thought that day to come...the beer looked and smelled delicious and i think the invented triple filtering technique shown here will prove successful!

at the end of the evening the boys discovered a huge spider in our backyard and bryan was able to get some amazing pictures of it...thanks to the amazing internet i was able to find out it is an orb weaving spider and thankfully not poisonous. bryan threw an unsuspecting roly-poly into its web and we watched it roll it up and have a late night snack. i had never seen a spider do that in person and it was truly amazing. like many instances with children, having a son who is obsessed with spiders has opened my eyes to their amazing world. i get excited too when i see a beautiful web or a big spider -plus they are unavoidable right now and everywhere...especially at this house!

the spiders might think its fall, but the weather around here hasn't been in the mood i guess. still in the 80s all week long and looking like it will continue through next week is really bumming me out...i love fall and although all my efforts to bring about sweater weather as evidenced by my fireplace mantle and current baking obsession - there is no respite from this heat wave. i haven't let it stop me from roasting everything...from chicken to pumpkins. i had to try this pumpkin bread - amazing. her banana bread was amazing and the pumpkin bread. i opted not to add the hazelnuts and raisins and i think i made the right choice for my family...odd textures in bread do not seem to fare well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

recessionary measures

in light of the upcoming recession, we have decided to scale back bryson's halloween costume

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baby Olive Sevilla Marcus

I called Jessi yesterday because she was on my mind and i knew her due date was around the corner so i wanted to check in with her to see how her last days were going. she answered and told me she was in labor and had to go because her midwife was paging her...i laughed at her and told her to go get that baby out...and she did. Olive Sevilla Marcus was born yesterday and i wanted to include the labor/delivery story that her husband Todd wrote - he is such a great writer and i was peeing my pants laughing envisioning the scenario...for those of you that know - and those who don't - her second child - Lincoln was born in the hospital parking lot...after only a 45 minute is what Todd wrote:

Big news for our small world

Whether by great design or luck we have been ordained the right to dramatic flare or exaggerated story telling. Our third child entered the World last night in a fashion that contains both rights.

Before there was three, we rewind Lincoln’s birth in our car just short of the Hospital doors over and over again making sure we were both prepared & informed about what birth story we be telling with our little girl. We both agreed that we wanted to make it to the hospital first and let the rest of the details fall into place.

With a due date over a week away and two boys born on their actual due dates a business trip to Joplin seemed reasonable. A call mid-sentence led to my gut wrenching realization that in thirty minutes we should expect our newest member if our brief birthing history was to repeat itself. Being 2.5 hours away led to immediate depression. In very calculated drama I drove too fast and received updates from family members who took over in my absence (Chris & Katie Stewart & Mary). Calls came in as infrequent and irregular as the contractions, but all signs pointed towards another quick birth.

I pressed on scouring byways and overpasses for the best obstacle to my chance at making a timely appearance. Jessi’s quick contractions subsided when she dipped into the hot tub willing baby and body to hold out for “Dad”. In that news a moment of hope turned into longer minutes and I then knew they would wait for me. I have to say that dramatic car rides involving birthdays are simple not as exciting as they sound. I would trade a “normal” birth anytime compared to the drama I have endured behind the wheel.

Finally the right stop lights arrived and with it the towering hospital where I knew Jessi was being well cared for and surrounded by people who love her. That much was taken care of thank goodness. What was thought to be another drive-by birth turned out to be a few hours and allowed Jessi’s entourage a sigh or relief & exaltation of praise when I finally made it, with still no baby.

Continued waiting and unpredictable contractions led to hand held water breaking maneuvers and within minutes our baby started moving Earthward. Thrilled that I could actually be in the moment and contrary to my initial reaction hours earlier I was excited for the formal introduction filled with intrigue & wonder. I placed my dutiful self next to Jessi along with Katie (sister), nurse (opposite side of bed and quite small) and midwife (thrilled she got to watch the presidential debate between contractions). In the standard movie depicted position for most of the proceedings the midwife (Sheila and gratefully undisclosed political agenda) suggested moving to her side for the next and what would be the final position.

I only go into great detail here for what happens next & its worthiness of such attention. When one turns to the side that leaves a free hand and arm to reach and grab anything within striking distance. Naturally I was the side she turned to and I was pulled in closer and closer while an intense contraction ensued. One clenched hand reached around my neck and turned into a headlock that would make the wrestling federation proud. I was in the best headlock to date provided by my wife giving birth to our daughter. I though it insensitive to mention how much it hurt in light of what was happening and equally inappropriate to displace the arm that was groping for any kind of respite. As I stand half-bent over the bedrail in the neck throbbing position of servitude, the midwife notes the baby is about to emerge and inquires if I would like to catch the baby. “Of course” I thought but all I could manage to state was the obvious predicament “I can’t, I’m in a nasty headlock”. Shortly thereafter I managed to rotate my head within the headlock and see our baby make the triumphant entry. Once Jessi’s arms and grip relented I joined the processional of hosts in ushering the little girl in her first breaths, cries, tears, etc.

Jessi’s mom (Ramona or Noni to those 12 and under) was able to sneak in the final moments and provide an extra cheering squad with supportive proclamations. All in all it was special. For the better part of 14 hours after the birth we still could not find a name that completely fit our gift. We considered playing musical names (a variation of musical chairs where I would read off the names on our list during the deliver and the name stated just as the baby emerged would be the victor) but in the end we loved our sweet little….Olive Sevilla Marcus.

She weighed 6 lbs. 13 ounces and measured in at 19 ½ inches tall. She has extremely long digits, hardly any bumps and bruises associated with the trauma, and although they often look otherworldly upon exit, she is our perfect little Olive.

Jessi and Olive are home now (less than 24 hours from when they arrived together) in united health and wellness. The boys can’t stop talking to her, playing with her (more like around her at this point), overstating the obvious about her features and just beaming with excitement about their new playmate and little baby.

Emails & phone calls are always welcomed and our response time will be commensurate with the amount of sleep we get. So grace provided will be grace appreciated.

Until we hear from you or you from us

Todd, Jessi, Wells, Lincoln & Olive

Boo-Boos & Bugs

bryson got hurt yesterday during his *way too short* time with Mor-Mor...he opened a sliding door on his right pinky and smashed it...he'll probably lose the fingernail...the funny thing is that his other pinky nail just grew back a couple months ago from slamming it in a door as well. the other funny thing is that this past 2 months i have had to ask myself whether or not to take him in to see the doctor way too many times. he was stung by a bee last month on his finger - this was also the second time he was stung by a bee...also on the finger the first time. a couple weeks ago i watched in sheer terror as his fever reached 105.7 degrees and teetered on whether to let the tylenol do its magic or bring him in right away to avoid seizures. again, this wasn't the first time i saw this boy get staggering high fevers...he has prepped me pretty well for having another boy i guess. we have been to the ER 3 times with him...and probably should have gone another 5 times, but luckily my sister is a PA and calls me back right away...poor Sara - she is forever our family doctor now...but what i love about that is she isnt worried about us suing her, so she can give me a straight answer on you realize how wonderful that is for a mom to hear? the truth? people don't give truths anymore...they cover their butts...anyway, i was reflecting today as i watched him fall off his scooter onto the concrete and jump off the park structure that he has gone through a lot this past 2 months and i suppose subsequently so have bryan and i, but he is a trooper and even let bryan pop his blood blister last night, which i dont think i would let anyone do - even for a candy corn...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

breakfast bliss

i heard a mom speak about dinner with her family the other day and it made me feel a twinge of guilt. it is difficult with our schedules to have an actual sit down dinner with the 3 of us at this point, however, we do manage to start our days together most mornings. i realized this morning how thankful i am for those precious minutes in the a.m. bryson is uncharacteristically sweet in the morning. he wakes up exclaiming, "its a sunny day!" even when it isn't. its nice that God gave me a positive waker, because that is a struggle for me. i know that baby on the way will shake schedules up a bit, but i am hopeful to make it to the table on most mornings. i am hoping that some day family time will also be dinner time and actual conversation (although with 3 boys and me...who knows!) but for the time being i am thankful for our mornings!

PS - bryan did the eggs...he is amazing with eggs. i can not make a sunny side up egg to save my life and look how cartoon-like these look...i am truly blessed!

Monday, October 13, 2008

somebody stop me...

seriously...this is a little ridiculous i think. i mean - i first had the excuse that so-and-so is having a baby girl and so-and-so is turning one and would look so cute in this...but i had no excuse for this one, except that jena gave me amy butler's new book - little stitches for little ones - and i loved this one...this little kimono outfit. although - i must say that this particular pattern could be unisex...if i owned ANY boy or gender neutral fabric it could...i'm just wasn't in vain - i just need to get some boy fabric...cause we all know what amazing selection they have there. anyway - the difficulty level was 2 and it was a pretty simple pattern. i saved a lot of time by using double fold bias tape (thank you rashelle) but the pants mixed me up a bit. i think they should have been the easy part, but because i am so used to my own pattern and way of doing pants that this one had me all confused. i don't know if they will actually be functional until i get them on a 12 month old

i am still amazed when i do a pattern and it resembles the picture in any way. i am still learning how to do patterns and follow directions - it is tough for me and i find that once i do them once or twice i kind of tend to make up my own way of doing it anyway, but they help me to learn more about sewing, which is very needed since i am such a novice.

anyway - check out our shop this month - friendkidly - we are going to updating it with more only problem is getting pictures up there that dont look like a second grader took them. we will keep you posted....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

long beach marathon

i am so proud of my boys! bryson ran his first race today (he beat daddy's first race age by 2 years!) he ran the kids mile fun run today at the l.b. marathon while bryan ran the half marathon and made his best 1/2 marathon time (because he wasnt running with me) and beat 2 hours. have i mentioned that he hasn't trained at all and has been sick for the past 3 weeks and hacking out all sorts of ugliness? well...for your sake i won't go there, but he finished strong and ran a good race and so did our little guy... i was really proud of him. he ran the ENTIRE time. well...almost the entire time...reference the picture of him standing solo with his head down...refusing to move...with only about .10 of a mile to go. we told him he wouldnt get his medal if he didnt keep moving, so that motivated him - that and the fact that i couldn't carry him. at one point a policeman on a motorcycle escorted him and he thought he was super cool. but he wasnt a fan of the people cheering him - i dont know if he quite understood - i think he may have thought they were laughing at is kind of wierd when you think about it - strangers smiling and clapping for you when you are just doing what you do every day - RUN like crazy. he may have been last place, but i didn't see any other 2 year olds in the race, so maybe he got first in his age group! anyway - i am proud of you guys!

Friday, October 10, 2008

1000th marathon

the long beach marathon is coming up this weekend...i am a little jealous of everyone running - i am really missing it about now - really missing exercising in general (a cramp that persists has kept me from really any exercise since i was 3 1/2 months along) - bryan will be participating, but since his running partner (me :) ) has been down he has not trained at last weekend he upped and ran 10 miles and hated life for a couple of days. i even miss the aches...i think i should go to runners anonymous because perhaps i am a bit addicted...any way. the press telegram ran a story this morning about a 61 year old that is going to be in the L.B. marathon this weekend and it will be his 910th that is over 26.2 miles since 1993. he runs in races every weekend - multiple ones usually on the weekends and runs ultras as well (over 50 miles).

his name is Dharam "Paul" Piplani and what he said is what truly inspired me this morning. "I never, ever believe you cannot overcome any hurdle in life." the article also says that, "he reminds himself 'the flesh is dumb' and the mind can push the body to accomplish any goal." I found this so true in running - the battle between your psyche and your body. many times when we give up it is not our bodies that can't handle it - its our minds. running helps you to not only train your body to do amazing things, but your mind also gets a workout because you stretch your limits each time and prove to yourself that you can go faster, longer or uphill for 20 miles!!!

this especially is on my mind since i am preparing myself for a natural childbirth. i know that my body can do it - obviously - it was made to do it, but the prepping comes with prepping your mind for the pain. you are right dharam piplani...the flesh is dumb...but the mind is even dumber that it can trick us into thinking we can not do something that we were made for!

good luck to all you runners this weekend and don't listen to that nagging voice on mile 22 that is telling you to sit down and take a nap! you can do it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cloth Diaper Review

i decided to put this extensive review on here for a couple reasons: 1 - when i was starting out with cloth diapering i wish that there was a source for me to know which kinds of diapers were right for me and also to take out the mystery of how to use them and 2 - to remember which ones i like and dont like for the new baby since we are "working" on potty training bryson
i came into cloth diapers kind of by accident and also rather late. my baby was well over a year old - i believe he was around 19 months or so - i can't remember when i started, but i poo-pooed the idea of cloth because i had these visions of pre-folds with safety pins and covers and dunking poop all day. when i started sewing i was looking at different baby sewing sites for ideas and inspirations and came across a diapers sewing diva ring. there was all this talk of "pocket diapers" and things that i had never heard with a little research i found out all the options out there for cloth diapers and my cheap self started adding up all the money i could save and i never looked back!

Basically - if you are interested in cloth diapering your options are:
1. prefolds (or DSQ - diaper-service-quality)
2. pocket diapers - either one-size or size-able
3. all-in-one diapers
4. G diapers

1. Prefolds

Prefolds are what you think about...or at least i thought about...when you picture cloth diapering - the standard rectangle of cloth - either already folded or contoured to baby's shape. Some of these come with options to close that do not require pins - there are alternatives to pins you can buy, such as the Snappi and these require a waterproof cover over them. I really like the Wonder Wraps covers because they are one size fits 8-30 lbs adjustable and snug around the legs to prevent leaks.

Prefolds are probably the most economical choice, however they can be warm for a lot of babies especially in the summer and more time consuming than the pocket diapers.

2. Pocket Diapers

These are the new options in cloth diapering. I love mine and can't say enough about Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz. The difference between those two is that Bum Genius has a one-size option, whereas you need to purchase different sizes of the Fuzzi Bunz as your child grows - S, M and L - check out their website for sizing.

These work with a pocket inside that holds a cloth insert. the lining of the diaper - either micro-fleece or micro-suede super soft lining - catches the solids and the liner absorbs the liquids. when you change the diaper you "knock off" the solids into the toilet, remove the insert and throw them into the pail.

I like to use a disposable/flushable liner -especially when i know he will have a poopy diaper - I like Imse Vimse's flushable liners sold in packs of 100 - they have the texture of a dryer sheet and you just put it over the diaper and strap baby in and the liner will catch all the solids instead of the diaper, which makes cleaning even easier...cause lets be honest - the poop doesn't always "knock off" and dunking in the toilet is quite gross...especially when they are eating human food exclusively and the smell isnt as lovely as a breastfed baby's...

Now for the review part...

My favorite is Bum Genius because of the economics of it. A regular bum genius one size diaper costs around $16 ($25 for the organic) and you typically need around 18 diapers - so figure $300.00 or so - but that will last your baby from 7 lbs to 35 lbs (although my son is not even 30 lbs and they are a bit snug on him)

The other one size pocket diaper i have tried is the Tiny Tush. I tried both the organic cotton one and the elite one size. The organic cotton one leaked every time i used it - you would need a waterproof cover and that would be way too bulky and hot and annoying! I also tried the elite, but the insert they come with was AWFUL - i used my fuzzi bunz insert on it because theirs was pretty much useless - also it leaked every other time i used it. Also - i was pretty peeved at them because i ordered what i thought was red and turned out to be hot i could never put them on my son if we were going out because my husband draws the line at pink diapers i guess.

There is another option I found - the Mommy's Touch, but every time i tried to buy it the stores were out of stock...Sorry - nothing to review there - but another option for you to look into if you are interested in one sizes.

Fuzzi Bunz are my second favorite - i purchased both the Medium size and the Large size - Medium they are in for the most part, but I started out with these until I found the Bum Genius. I think if I were to do it over I would have just stuck with the Bum Genius because of the money factor - Fuzzi Bunz are around the same price per diaper - $16 - so $300 every time your baby grows out of them. You can re-sell them and save them for the next if there is a next - either way you will save money if you are changing from disposable, but considerably less than if you go with a one-size. One thing i do want to say about the Fuzzi Bunz is that their fit is great - because they are sized they fit a little better than the Bum my opinion.
I also tried the Kissaluvs diaper, which is also available in different sizes. I liked their fit - they come with velcro as opposed to snaps like the fuzzi bunz - so a little easier i guess, but they don't always come with a liner, so they can be more expensive.

3. All-In-Ones

AIO don't have a pocket, but don't require a seperate liner either. they have the liner built in. The only AIO i tried was the Imse Vimse AIO. I used it a lot, but the fit was awkward and bulky in the crotch and they took forever to dry - at least 2 days inside. that is all i have to say about AIO - they are around $20 for the Imse Vimse diaper...not worth it in my opinion.

I haven't tried these, but saw them at Whole Foods and i know a mom that uses them and loves them - she likes that they are less bulky than the cloth diapers and less time consuming. you can flush the liner or compost the wet ones - they take 50-150 days to break down in a compost - they are plastic free. In a landfill they will break down in 90 days as opposed to 500 years for a disposable diaper (yikes!) They also come in sizes so you will need to buy S, M & L sizes for your baby (although Medium covers up to 28 lbs so if you have a smaller baby perhaps you will never get to large!). The starter kit is $27 for 2 pants and 10 flushable liners. The refills are around $15 for 40 or so liners. So this option may be a little pricier, but perhaps the convenience of it all is worth it. Like I said, I haven't tried these, but it is an option.
***PLEASE NOTE*** - Paige Bartel informed me:
One thing to note about the g-Diapers is that they are 3-part: (1) outer-waterproof piece, (2) inner snap-in liner, and (3) the disposable insert. The outer most part is the most expensive, about $18. But you can also purchase a 2-pack of extra snap-in liners for $4.99. That really cuts down on the number of waterproof parts you need, since the snap in liner catches the poop most of the time. They recommend 4-6 outer liners, and 8-12 inner liners. So even though they are sized, it doesn't take quite as much $$ at start up since the inner liners are so much cheaper.


What do I need to get started...besides the diapers of course?
1. Diaper Pail - I use a trash can with a lid that I got at Target or Lowe's or something - I don't think it is necessary to purchase an expensive diaper pail.
2. Waterproof Liner - Most of the online cloth diaper stores sell these in sizes S - XL - i think mine is a L, but i probably should have gotten an XL to fit my particular trash can - check your sizes before ordering...unlike me :)
3. Drying method / Rack or Clothesline- I use a foldable drying rack from Target (available in the laundry section) because i dry mine inside - because of convenience really - it is best to dry them outside (perhaps a clothesline with clothespins or drying rack) because the sun actually helps bleach the cotton and keeps them stain-free...or almost stain free as i am told.
Thats all you NEED...i also like to use the disposable liners...again...they are little miracle workers...I also have Tea Tree oil that i sometimes put in the really stinky loads to help with the smell and for detergent i use 7th Generation soap and Borax. I also have a waterproof bag size S that i put in my diaper bag if i take him out in the cloth just in case...if i am going overnight or for long periods of time i will generally use disposable diapers.
How do I wash them?
A: There are different methods that come with the different diapers, but this is my method that i found works the best for me and my child and my budget and my time -
Please note - this is for the pocket diapers since that is what i mainly use - before you wash them the inserts must be separated from the diapers.

I wash a cycle on the gentle cycle with HOT water and i use just a tiny bit of 7th generation soap. like a couple tablespoons - depends on the size of the load. i generally wash around 6 or 7 at a time and use a medium setting - they soak up a lot of water, plus you want a lot of water to get them extra agitated. After that cycle i check them out and smell them. if they are looking and smelling good i give them an extra rinse and dry the inserts in the dryer and hang dry the waterproof diaper part. If they are still funky i wash them again with BORAX - about 1/2 cup and then do a rinse after that. This is generally for the really poopy load.

How many do I need?
A: I think 18 is a good number because it gives you a day or 2 off between loads. the more diapers you have the less laundry you are doing. figure out how many diapers you are changing per day and you will find out how frequently you will be needing to do laundry. Also - a lot of people have asked if they could try just one and i don't recommend that. you have to wash the diapers separately and it just doesnt make sense to do a whole load for just one diaper. if you want to cloth diaper - you should commit. I tell people to start with 6 and see how easy it is and use both cloth and disposable - which can fit in the budget easier too, since $300 is a big investment for a one time shopping spree. Buying them in bulk is usually cheaper as well online in their starter kits.

Where do I get them?
I have personally shopped at the following stores online:

I have never had a problem with any of them and if they were out of a color or anything they have been good at contacting me.

If you are in the Orange County area - Belly Sprout carries some brands. Also some of the cloth diaper websites have store locaters.
Also - Craigslist or Ebay is also a source if you don't mind secondhand diapers this can be the best option economically - they hold up extremely well!

Well - I hope this has been helpful. Please comment if you have any questions, any disagreements or additional information and I will post it - it is always helpful to have other people's experiences and references i think!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Portland Trip

We just got back from a wonderful portland vacation visiting great friends. bryan was sent there as part of his birthday present to get some golf clubs and while he was busy doing boy stuff with jake, i got to spend some quality time with jena and joel and their gorgeous baby girl Eliot Gray. our trip was short but filled with amazing meals and conversation and shopping and the portland zoo and great company. we love you jena, joel, baby eliot and jake (and bryson misses baby eliot and his friend bob...whom he talks about...constantly...)

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad Dressing

i have randomly been asked by about 4 different people for this recipe. I decided to post it because not only do i constantly lose it myself and have to bug my mom for it, but it takes forever to write out since there are so many ingredients. This is my Aunt Susan's mother's recipe i believe and it pretty much rules...


1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tblsp sesame seeds

1 tblsp poppy seeds

1 1/2 tsp minced onion

1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

this makes enough for 2-3 bags of the baby spinach - i keep it on hand in the fridge in a tupperware container and pour it over baby spinach with strawberries, avocado and toasted almonds...although we have had it over many a different type of salad and as a marinade it works nicely -