To Cloth Diaper, or Not to Cloth Diaper

on 28 January 2009

As promised, here is the post on cloth diapers.

Here's the deal--several people now have inquired how we "do" cloth diapers. Their tone is either sincerely inquisitive because they're thinking about switching themselves, they want to save money or they care about the environment. The other tone is usually incredulous with the implicit "Are you CRAZY?!?" tacked on to the end.

This post is for both of those groups but mostly for the former. And for the latter--no, we're not crazy.

I started researching cloth diapers whilst pregnant with the Boy. I know several people who cloth diaper and I was curious. I started researching it and found this article, and this one and this one. If you're really interested you should read them. If you're not and you still think we're CA-RA-ZY you should still read them. On any given day the reason that the Husband and I chose cloth diapers over disposables varies--the Husband usually comes down on the environmental side, I usually come down on the economic side. Regardless, cloth diapering was the right choice for us and let us take a moment to remember the Burnstopia credo of Live and Let Live.

Anyway, I started researching whilst pregnant because I was pretty sure that I was going to hold him in my arms and not want to go back to work. And REALLY not want to go back to work essentially to be an indentured servant for health care, day care and disposable diapers. I knew that we had saved enough money (and with a little help) we could get by if we made some dramatic choices at the get-go like cloth diapers.

Now. Everyone does this differently. What I'm about to show you and tell you, is the system that works for us. Follow the links for more information.

We use bumGenius 3.0 diapers. They're all-in-ones, meaning that they have the waterproof covering sewn into a pocket which contains an absorbent liner--so everything you need is there. These particular diapers have snaps and velcro closures so that you can adjust the size for newborns up to toddlers. They are, to put it simply, AWESOME. They are NOT cheap. We bought 24 diapers at the outset and they should last us through the kid we have and those we plan to have. For those of you who are beginning to foam at the mouth at the cost of these diapers please read the consumer report designated above stating that in disposable diapers you will spend approximately $1500 (per kid!) in diapers alone from the time your child is born until the average child is potty trained. By the time that the Boy has been in his diapers for 9 months (or there about) the diapers will have paid for themselves.

We have a diaper sprayer. We LOVE it, but it often gets mixed reviews. We keep a container of clorox wipes next to the toilet along with the diaper pail and they take care of any...messes.

Diapering should be all about what is convenient for the family. What works for us is this: we use cloth diapers when it's a normal every day at our house. When we're going out--to run errands (if it's more stops than one), to visit family, to church etc, we put him in a disposable and we take disposables for him. We just don't trust cleaning out our cloth diapers in public toilets--and the Husband doesn't care to carry around wet and dirty diapers with him. We'll also use disposables when he's sick, when we travel or move (when it comes to that). Like I said, it should be all about what is convenient for the family. That said...let's see some pictures.

Behold my torture table, I mean, changing table. The Boy looks worried every time we lay him down, but then of course he gets to be naked and he LOVES to be naked. From top to bottom and left to right you have: Costco bags of wipes (we use disposable wipes though they make cloth ones and we've tried them and I think they're more hassle than they're worth), disposable diapers with newborn liners or "doublers" folded in back, a bin of white diapers, a bin of green diapers, a bin of yellow diapers and...the Boy's taggie blanket and the Hobbit for winding down at nap times. Here's a closer view:

We keep our diapers pre-stuffed so that they're ready to go right on his bum...I think it makes for smoother diaper changes and less forethought, but that could just be me...I know there are people who don't pre-stuff because their child's absorbency needs vary throughout the day. Again, to each his or her own.

Here is our lovely bathroom set up:

Behold, the toilet, the sprayer and the diaper pail. I know there are people who don't rinse out every diaper--they only rinse out the um...solid matter. We rinse everything. I think it keeps down on odors and let's us wash every two days instead of every other day or every day. (Most diaper companies recommend that you wash every other day--we usually wash all of one color, so when all the greens are dirty we wash greens--it usually works out to every other day except with the white diapers because we have more of those than the others.) We bought our diaper pail at Walmart for cheap.

And speaking of washing diapers. They are expensive and an investment for any children we plan on having in the future (and yes, Heaven help us, we plan on having more children) so we use Allen's detergent (you can't just toss in some Tide with your diapers, they're finicky) and we line dry the exterior pockets and dry the liners in the dryer--in the summer we line-dry everything to save on electricity. Our water bill has gone up a bit but our electricity is about the same (if anything, it's running a space heater in his room at night that's driven our electricity up).

During the day we use the diaper with the principle liner. At night we size the diaper out one and use a doubler and it enables him to go all night without a diaper change. On average he goes through 4-6 diapers a day depending on what we have to do and well, his productivity.

We have had only one major blow-out with cloth diapers (and it was one of those Our-Child-Seriously-Hasn't-Pooped-in-DAYS-and-This-Is-The-Build-Up). Generally the structure of the diapers prevents blow-outs, especially if they fit properly. Though I know other people who have had blow-out issues.

The other thing to be aware of is the size thing--cloth diapers are bigger than disposables because they don't have all those chemicals to hold liquid. So the Boy doesn't wear jeans, he's only worn khakis once (we have some bigger ones to try in a bit). He mostly wears pajamas right now because it's cold, but normally he wears a onesie (Carters are the perfect fit because they're longer in general) and knit pants. I think he's adorable with that big ol' diaper bum, but maybe that's just me.

That just about covers everything. We love cloth diapering, the Boy is happier and we are happier. That said my only complaint is this: it seems like disposable diapers are more forgiving of parental ineptness or time constraints--when you're in a hurry you can slap a disposable diaper on any kid in 30 seconds or less and know that it will mostly contain whatever. With the cloth diapers, especially having a boy, you have to be careful that...well, everything is tucked in appropriately or you end up with a soggy baby. So we take our time, we let the Boy be naked for a bit, we kiss and love on him while gently making sure that he's covered and secured. So in a way, I guess cloth diapering makes us better parents--or at least more methodical parents.

If there's anything I missed, just email me, I'm happy to talk about this.

Look what I found!

on 27 January 2009

Ok, so in the whole moving pictures over and then backing them up I found some funny stuff that earned it's right to precede the cloth diapering post. So here you go...enjoy!

The Boy. Dude...he cracks me up.

He's busy playing but he also wants to see what's going on, so rather than take the time know, turn his chair around, he just leans back and looks at us like, "Dude. What?"

He's cute when he's pensive, no?
The Husband had gotten up with him in the morning and let me sleep a bit longer and then when I woke up he brought him in to Bed Sweet Bed for a cuddle and he was looking exceptionally wise.

The Boy and the Leike...she seems a little nervous, he, however, is delighted.

The Boy's first snow day. Not that he actually got to go out in the snow...but we stood at the window and stayed nice and warm and dry inside whilst looking out over a snowy white vista. He was impressed.

Update and GAH!!!

on 26 January 2009

Ok, so I am working on a photo essay on how we do cloth diapers, BUT our desktop is on the hutz again. The last time this happened we lost everything we hadn't backed up--namely, ALL of our pictures, bridal shower, wedding, honeymoon etc. So the Husband and I are otherwise occupied backing up everything right now, you will just have to stay tuned and I will get back to blogging once I know that my pictures are SAFE.

Wish me luck. So far, I'm backing up one folder and it said that it would initially take 70 minutes and we're now well into HOUR 3. If it dies again, I might throw it out the window. And then sit down for a well-earned CRY.

See you on the flip-side.

The Antidote

on 21 January 2009

Last night I pulled my favorite biography of Jane Austen down off the shelf.

That's how the Husband knows I'm really depressed. I start reading my way through Jane Austen.

For those curious, I have been reading Dr. Zhivago. But last night was one of those nights where I just couldn't face Yurii and Lara again.

Aside from not getting the Boston job and from having no current leads on future employment, we found out that a really close friend of ours has been diagnosed with lymphoma. His prognosis is pretty good, but still. He's one of the good guys. Not that there are people who deserve cancer, I don't think anyone deserves that--but it's always the really good ones who have to suffer more than seems just.

Anyway, so after the head shaking from the Husband over the rereading of this biography (it's my third or fourth time through, I can't remember), I started thinking about why it is that Jane Austen is the comfort to me that she is and here is what I came up with.

She had a decidedly unhappy life. Her family was poor, her brothers had all the time, attention and affection of their parents. She had a tense (at best) and competitive (at worst) relationship with her mother. She was subject to the whims of all the men in her life with very little or no say at all in her own comings and goings, and she was smart. A woman with a singularly gifted mind and yet, stuck--stuck in this powerless, rut of life from whence her only escape would have been a mediocre marriage.

And yet.

She didn't sit around a mope. (Well, she probably did at some times...but that's only human.) She picked up her pen and she beat back all of those injustices with humor and wit. She proved that she was more than the equal of her brothers (after all, who remembers any of them?) , she was their superior. And most of all, she proved her mother wrong. Her mother had no faith in her, thought that she was wasting her time on drivel. It was her father who knew her to be talented. Sadly, he didn't live to see her success. But her mother did--and I think she eventually became proud of her, in her way.

Aside from her literary success, she never failed at being a good sister, a good daughter, a good friend and a good aunt. She juggled those different roles and all that they entailed and she still managed to carve out a corner for herself and herself alone. I love that. I feel like so often, I let something fall--daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt or friend, in accomplishing that corner for myself.

Critics disparage her because she "panders to the fairy tale motif" and all I can think of in response is, "So?" Honestly. So what? If your life was miserable and you had the ability to WRITE your own happy ending, wouldn't you? Would Pride and Prejudice be any more of a masterpiece if Darcy and Elizabeth continue to misunderstand each other and the Bennet girls end up impoverished and dependent on vile Mr. Collins for the rest of their natural lives? I doubt it. Her genius lies, not in her ENDINGS, but in her technique. Go back through all of the novels--her language is clear, concise and witty. It's nuanced and delicate. She wasn't being funny when she described her work as "a fine brush on a bit of ivory two inches wide..." that's exactly what it is. And to see the genius behind it, you have to look with better eyes.

I have gotten fantastically off topic. Where did I start? Honestly, it's like the Husband is writing this post...

Right! Jane Austen...balm of solace in times of depression. What I'm curious about is this...

Am I the odd duck here again? Do you all have favorites that you read when you get depressed? Does it translate to movies or music...are there certain things that you watch or listen to when you get depressed--either to cheer yourself up or to drown your sorrows? And the first person who tells me they work out gets to be held down and gnawed up by my son and his razor sharp teeth. I have been subjecting myself to that miserable 30 day shred and it's nothing short of a wonder I can even move to the bookshelf to get the book.


on 19 January 2009

Yes. I know that we have bigger problems that this one thing that I'm about to write about, but I'm feeling very Scarlet O'hara right now and I won't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow!

Today I'm thinking about teeth. Specifically, the Boy's teeth.

Yes. You read that plural correctly. He cut his second tooth last night...and the two Teeth together are complicating my life at the moment.

See...I've become accustomed to handing my son a chunk of bagel or a crust of bread to gum and gnaw makes him happy. He gets to eat food that looks like what we're eating without actually consuming any of it. But now that he has two RAZOR SHARP DAGGERS protruding from his bottom gum, he can actually rip and tear off chunks of that bagel or bread crust. Chunks that he has no way of actually CHEWING before swallowing. Chunks which are big enough for him to choke his little self.

Please do not inquire how we actually know that last one, I'd rather not discuss it at the moment.

They really are a public menace...any one who comes within chewing distance and he's nipping at their hands like a jack russell terrier. I'm not entirely sure what to do. The Boy has every teething toy known to man. I regularly give him wash cloths, dish towels, and other various household items which are safe to be chewed by our resident FANG.

Ok, I have to leave off, I have another problem--a SMELLIER problem. If you'll all excuse me...

edited to add: Thank you all for the sympathy. We are quite grateful for all of your support and that you read this blog. It helps me tremendously. We aren't quite certain what we're going to do now, as was said before all of our eggs were in that one Boston Basket. When we come up with something we'll let you all know.

Boston Update: Really the Last

on 16 January 2009

I didn't get it.

Ma, Pa, I've been SHOT

Not with a gun, with a needle.

The Boy had his 6 month check up today...he's doing great. Squarely in the 50th percentile on everything but head size. Dr. Awesome (our pediatrician) looked at the measurement and looked at me and the Husband and said,

"Well, he gets it honest...he'll even out eventually."

Um. Thanks? I guess the Husband and I both have giant heads. Who knew?

Anyway 4 big fat needles in my baby's beautiful Rubenesque thighs, one glass-shattering scream and 2 more follow up appointments made and we were on our way home. Well, except we stopped to buy bagels. And then almonds and chocolate and brats for the Husband and yogurt. But after all of that we headed home.

And the Boy has just been lounging on me or his Grandma most of the day. We played some Wii and did some laundry and all in all it was a lovely day.

As a side note, I have done a really stupid thing. See, one of my New Year's resolutions was to work out 6 days a week. Partly because I have redeemed my coupon for (1) Baby and I would now like to repossess my body from the aforementioned Baby...and partly because I just need to be healthier to keep up with said Baby. Anyway, I've been working out with different games on the Wii Fit--which is great because apparently I have a little Fitness ADD and I get bored with various things really fast. Anyway, my lovely friend Debbi has been whipping my behind into shape 3 days a week (seriously, some days I fear for my heart!) but I needed a bit more the rest of the week so I went out and bought 30 day Shred (because I am a sheep and I hear great things about this video). I was looking at it this afternoon and now I'm a-quaking in my running shoes. What have I done?

Beantown Trip: Part the Last

on 15 January 2009

So, I've been meaning to finish writing about the Boston trip. Really, I have been meaning to write. Its amazing what happens when school gets in the way. As of writing this post, I still haven't heard anything back from MGH. I assure you, once we know something, you, the intertubes, will know something also.

Out of laziness, this update will be the picture show of random pictures I took for the sole purpose of putting them on the blog. If you make it to the end, I might just a bit more about the interview. The pictures are from my day of wandering before the "get to know you and over-analyze every behavior and what you order" dinner with the other interview candidates.

Right, a guy with a pigeon on his hand. Right before I got this picture, he had a squirrel crawling up his leg to get food. I thought it was a pretty neat trick so I tried to pretend to feed a squirrel also. The little fellow (read fat rodent with fur and a big tail) walked up and grabbed my finger before realizing it was empty. Then I met a very nice guy who told me UNC lost to Boston College.

As a random thought, Boston has a lot of colleges and universities in it. One would think with that amount of academics, they would tell someone a square has four sides, not three.

One of the highlights of going to Boston is being able to see "Old Ironsides". That is her looking sad with her masts down and some strange cover built on top of her main deck. I guess it is there so tourists don't have to be exposed to the elements and the sailors stationed on her don't have to shovel snow every day. Wusses.

Right. After wondering around all day and getting lost in the North End (Little Italy), I went to the aforementioned dinner. These are supposed to be casual get-togethers where you get to meet the people who currently have the position and meet the other people who are interviewing. One, I have food issues--I don't like to eat in front of people I don't know very well. And even if I do know you well I may not want to eat in front of you. I think it took about five dates before I asked The Wife to go to a restaurant with me. Two, I don't like the feeling of meeting "the competition". I don't feel the need to prove anything to them--I don't. I hate the small talk that is inherent in meeting new people. I don't care where you go to school or what you have done during your degree program or that you are from the area. I just want to interview and go home. But, I have to pretend to be interested to show the current job-holders that I can play well with others. But, in reality, the whole night I was thinking, "I'm only ever going to see you tonight unless we both get this position and then I will care about your new puppy dog".

One good thing about the evening though, besides delicious free food, was watching one of the interviewees who missed the memo about what to order when at a professional dinner. There were eleven people at the table so I only knew what the people around me ordered. When the food was served, someone had ordered the lobster. The whole lobster. And to make it even better, she didn't even know how to get into it to eat it (which I learned the correct phrase is "to crack the lobster").

The next morning, we all met back up for the marathon day of tours and interviewing. Luckily they went alphabetical by first name and I got to go first even though I did miss the tour of the emergency room. Some of the questions I was asked included identifying two portraits that were painted by the same person who painted Washington Crossing the Delaware, why I wanted to be at MGH, why healthcare administration, examples of working as a group, and life-lessons learned from working in the ER and OR. To give you an idea of the interview environment there were nine senior executives at a conference table and they made me sit at the head of the table. I was myself for better or for worse even though I think I spoke more about The Wife and The Boy than I did about myself (I was really missing them at this point in time and it was The Wife's birthday and unknown to me at the time, The Boy's first tooth day).

The rest of the day was spent on tours of the hospital which is massive. A couple of things that stood out from the tour--seeing where the first surgical case where ether was used occurred, seeing some of the original pier from when the hospital was on the Charles (which was later filled in to give more building room), going to the roof of one of the hospital buildings for a great view of the city (which we left our coats in the conference room and it was cold), and seeing some of the "behind the scenes" areas of a research lab--the water purification system and the boiler room with some really big pipes.

At the end of the day I was supposed to go rock climbing with the friend we will dub The Russian Bear but instead I veged out, ate Thai noodles, and packed to come home. Going to the airport I felt that I was leaving everything there (emotionally)--which is not an adequate description of feelings. So, I will re-word it as, I felt that I had done everything that I could and now it is in the hands of others (interview panel and Deity). The flight home was unremarkable and I am still very glad to be home. Not so glad to be starting school though. I miss reading Winnie the Pooh before morning naptime.

Lastly, here is a picture of The Russian Bear doing what he probably would have talked me into doing had I stayed in Boston for an additional day. Why yes, he is climbing up a frozen waterfall.

The Boy's far...

on 12 January 2009

There are no toys in this joint and I am BORED! Also, drooly.

Well, that's moderately interesting.

Better now.


Time is seriously messing with my head.

For example. Six months ago I had one of these:

Now I have this:

Will some one please explain this to me? I'm not entirely sure but I seem to have LOST 3 months somewhere in the vacuum of space.

And then there's time with the Husband. Some days, most days really, 4 years just doesn't seem like the right number. As if we've been together both forever and just over a week.

There's this great quote from the Legend of Bagger Vance that says it more perfectly than I could. Junah and Adele are talking about his 10 years of inexplicable absence and, well...

Junah: Then - Well, tell me what to say... It was too long ago...
Adele: No it wasn't... It was just a moment ago...

Happy now.

on 10 January 2009


The Husband got home a few hours ago.

We sat on the couch and chatted and he told me about his interview and how rockin' Boston is. And he played with the Boy and felt his new little tooth that broke the surface yesterday. And the Boy laughed himself silly. And now the Husband has gone to get us Thai take out to celebrate my birthday.

Go on. Guess who's happy now.

edited to add: We don't know how the interview went. As is inevitable with these sorts of things, he feels both good and bad about his performance. He enjoyed himself immensely and in the event that we aren't awarded this Fellowship, we'll definitely be job hunting with the organization. We should hear something some time this week, so don't stop praying for us sinners--we need all the help we can get!


on 09 January 2009

When you're a kid on your birthday you eat cake, get presents and a party.

When you're an adult you get laundry. Lots of laundry. And also you get to clean the bathroom. And you get to suck snot out of your kid's nose.

And yet. Here's the crazy part.

I wouldn't change a thing. I love being an adult. I'm a lot better at it than I ever was at being a kid.

Happy Birthday to ME!**

The nose of death...fairly clean at the moment.

**Lest anyone feel sorry for me, don't! My sister is making me dinner tonight, my mom is making me a cake and if we're VERY lucky, the Husband is getting us a job! Life is grand!

Beantown: Day the First

on 08 January 2009

If my Boston "to do list" consisted of: contribute to the early death of someone, sit in a cold dark room for hours, and get rained on, then I would have had a successful trip thus far. The flights up here were unremarkable except for awesome turbulence, an older couple (in their 80s) taking my window seat on the plane, which I don't know why since they got up to use the bathroom every half hour, and realization of how awful the security/boarding process is. I'm happy to say that my checked bag my it also and met me at the airport. After getting to a friend's place, unpacking, and getting settled in, I decided that it was time for some food.

Isn't it a picturesque scene?

So, I set off to satisfy the hunter/gatherer in me and find some food. I was fine walking through the snow and the rain but I learned about something that I really do not like. Which, as an aside, anybody reading this post who has actually lived in snowy climates might actually already know about this problem. I did not. It seems that when snow gets scraped to the side of the road and its raining that the rain really likes to accumulate in the handicap ramp part of crosswalks.

You may not be able to see it well in the picture, but within that puddle was a land shark, a small child, and one of those cartoon-y bear trap things.

I found out about the puddles the hard way--yep, I stepped in no less than seven before I figured out what was happening and why I kept making big splashes. In my own defense, I was a bit distracted thinking about how delicious the Greek Corner food was going to be. Once I did get to the Greek Corner I walked in and had this conversation (read "Host" in a thick Greek accent):

Host: We don't have any power.
Me: Okay (as I get ready to turn around and walk out).
Host: So, our credit card machine isn't working.
Me: I have cash.
Host: Okay, you come sit over here.

Waitress: What would you like?
Me: Can I get the sausage pita with fries?
Waitress: Let me check....yes, you can get that.
Me: Excellent.

Right, not that exciting right? Well, the sausage is cooked over charcoal. And there is no power. Which means no exhaust vents in the kitchen (where I was told they were using flashlights to see their cooking). Do you see the problem yet? I was not the only person eating there either. By the end of my meal, which was delicious, there was a lot of smoke in the restaurant and I'm scared to check the Boston news today because I really don't want to read about how everyone in the Greek Corner died.

Anyways, to make the long day shorter, the power was out all over town. I came back to a dark, cold house, tried to do some preparations for the interview, and then hung out in a cold dark room where at least it was dry. Power come back on around 9pm.

Thus far in the trip I have learned, snow really isn't that bad. Boston is very expensive to live. I really miss The Wife and The Boy.

A Disclaimer

on 06 January 2009

As The Wife mentioned, I will take over the blog for the next few days to document the exploits of my trip to Beantown. At least that is my intention. If the desire to write on the blog goes the way of most of my other intentions, The Wife will be back in a few days with our regularly scheduled program.

What's that you ask? Why is this post entitled "A Disclaimer"? Why aren't I packing and getting ready (i.e. figuring out a good answer for "So, tell us about yourself.") since the flight leaves in a little over 12 hours? Because I thought you, the reader of this blog, would like a disclaimer about the posts you may or may not read in the upcoming days. I feel that I should warn you how I, The Husband, tell stories. In fact, The Wife even doodled a drawing about how I tell stories. Which I then took the doodle, created in Word, tried to save in a format that would transfer to the blog, which it wouldn't, then re-created the doodle in PowerPoint, saved it in a format that would transfer, and now I am posting that doodle for the world to see. I know that pictures are worth a thousand words, but I'm pretty sure that the thousand words this picture tells is a series of non-sensical words, expletives, and "Huh? What is that?". The doodle in its not so doodle-y form:

That makes perfect sense, right? Well, then, we can move on...okay, I'll add a few more words to this already lengthy post.

If you refer to Figure 1 in the doodle, you will see what is generally considered a "good" blog post. The post starts with a beginning, a story is told/written, and a point is made. This point is generally something funny, a general life update, a supplication for advice, something. If you will now refer to Figure 2, and yes, I thought about making two different images, but Figure 1 was so small and tiny all by itself in a big image that it wanted to play with Figure 2 and make it really hard for you to figure out since the lines that should be dashed lines look like solid lines. Back to Figure 2. When I tell a story, I generally start at the beginning, but sometimes start in the middle if I think you already know what's going on, start telling the main story, get distracted by a related story, go back to the main story (that's why the supposed to be dashed line represents--see, I go back to the main story where I left off), tell the main story a little bit longer, get distracted again who knows how many times (in this image thrice), and eventually I will work my way to the initial point of the story (if I remember why I was telling that story).

So, there is the disclaimer. If you read the hypothetical posts that I am going to make, be prepared to be reading, stop, ask yourself "What is he talking about?", realize it is a tangental story and you missed the segway (which are non-existant), keep reading, and hope that it all ties together nicely by the end of the story. Deal? If you think that is a hard thing to do, look at it this way--you've already experienced my tangents. You've now read all about the doodle and how it came to be (which is a side story), the true disclaimer (the main point of the post), and now I don't even remember what else was in there. Ahh, stream of consciousness how I enjoy using you in story-time. Anyways, there is the disclaimer. If nothing else, I hope to put some pretty pictures on the blog. Maybe this time, the newly added pictures will be those that don't require additional words expect what it is a picture of and where it was taken and maybe why. Which in reality, will be a lot of additional words.


The Husband is heading up to Boston tomorrow for a Very Important Interview and as such I will be taking a temporary break from posting so as to allow the Husband to Bogart the Blog.

Naturally, I will be posting if anything exciting and/or funny happens. But I live with a 6 month old who is currently still sick, so we shall see.

In lieu of actual content for the time being-or until the Husband posts of his wonderful exploits in Beantown-I leave you with a picture of the Boy and Monte Bear.

Someday Monte Bear will need a post all his own, in order to properly tell his story, but for now just know that this is precisely how the Boy's face lights up when e'er Monte Bear is near.

Nervous Tummy

on 05 January 2009

The Husband and I are both having nervous tummy right now. He leaves for Boston on Wednesday morning and will be gone until Saturday. He interviews on Friday.

Need I remind you all that we REALLY want this Fellowship? Need I remind you all that we REALLY NEED this Fellowship?

I maintain that my nervous tummy is actually worse than his. After all, he is in control. He will go and meet people and be charming and intelligent and interesting. He can sit in that interview and look them in the eye and convince them that he is brilliant and that they want to hire him. I have to sit at home. With the Boy. And wonder.

I think my problem is that I wish I could be there. I wish I could sit at that table and look them in the eye and tell them how amazing the Husband is. How he is able to take an issue and turn it around and see it from all angles and then make a decision and act on that decision. I wish I could tell them how No Bull he is, how he will tell people the honest truth rather than spin them a web of half truths or whole lies. I wish I could tell them that no matter what they give him to do he is intelligent enough to do it. And if he doesn't know how to do something, he'll teach himself how to do it. I wish I could tell them about his capacity to lead people because he's done the work he's asking them to do, he knows it, he knows all it's unpleasantness, and as such he can empathize with them in a way that MOST administrators can't. I wish I could tell them that the one thing he has that no one else interviewing has is ME, backing him 100%.

But I can't be there. My job is here. Safe-guarding the home front. Nursing the Boy through this nasty sickness. And reinforcing the Husband via phone as he needs me. Please excuse me for a moment of whining...


It's hard to be the one left behind. The one not knowing. The one not in the room. Not able to read the situation and get a feel for it. It's hard knowing that my LIFE is on the line here and I can't do anything about it. And it's hard knowing that for those few days I can't be there with the Husband. I know that things will work out, but it's hard not knowing HOW they will work out.

Pray for us sinners, oh ye readers of this blog. For we come to you now in our hour of need.


on 02 January 2009

Someone in Burnstopia is sick.

We think it's croup.

It sounds pretty gross.

Good thing for baby Tylenol. And soft-hearted moms who allow pacifiers even when it's not time to sleep. And soft blankets. And unlimited cuddles and hugs and loves. And thank goodness for eccentric mothers who make up words like huggles which just perfectly describe the necessary balance between a hug and a snuggle. And for mushy dads who will read The Tales of Winnie the Pooh endlessly. And also dads who will dance with sick little boys in order to cheer them up.

We sure do have a lot of good things in Burnstopia.

2008 Meme

on 01 January 2009

Here are my answers to Linda's traditional New Year meme. Enjoy, y'all.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Um. Have a baby?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't actually recollect having made resolutions last year, I believe if I did that it was something along the lines of "survive pregnancy." So that's a big fat YES. As for this year, the Husband and I are both making resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

HAHAHAHAHA! Yes. Supreme and Creamy Whimsy, Sarah B., Sarah J., Kristin, Karen, and a bunch of other girls that I know.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Does my sister-in-law's dog count?

5. What countries did you visit?

Just my own. Oh, and the country that my belleh became this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Peace of mind.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 12th.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Growing into motherhood.

9. What was your biggest failure?

How long number 8 took me. (Not counting the EPIC failure of my uterus.)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

HAHAHAHAHA! Try here, here and here.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hmmmm. That's a hard one. I really love our diapers. But the sprayer just makes them that much more fun.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Husband's hands down. No contest. I wholly acknowledge his right to a victory dance. Also, I'd kind of like to see that.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Sometimes my own. For a variety of reasons. Rampaging hormones, stress, sleeplessness, and the kind of whiplash that only comes from serious change in your life.

14. Where did most of your money go?

HAHAHAHAHA! Dude. We had a kid. Most of our money went to health care.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hmmm. The Husband (internship, last year of school, Fellowship applications) and the Boy (he's just so darn cute). I got to go see Whimsy and that was really really really exciting.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

A King without a Crown by Matisyahu.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Both. In different ways.
b) thinner or fatter? Oh please. FAT-TER
c) richer or poorer? A little of both. In different ways.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending time with the Husband when it was just the two of us.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Complaining. Whining. Whinging.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

A little bit at home, just the 3 of us. A little bit with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Again and again and again.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I don't watch TV. Someday I'll give you my rant on why TV is the death of civilization as we know it, but not right now.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't have time nor energy for hate.

24. What was the best book you read?

Oh my...How can I reasonably be expected to answer this question?!? I read a pallet load of books this really liked the Asher Lev books by Chaim Potok. That's the closest I can narrow it down for you.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmmmm. The Boy's laughter.

26. What did you want and get?

My family.

27. What did you want and not get?

My way.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Films? There were films of this year? Well. I think the only one I saw in the theaters was WALL-E and it was pretty good. I bought the Jane Austen Season from Masterpiece Theater on DVD and their version of Sense and Sensibility is quite good.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

What did we do on my birthday? I'm sure there was dinner. I just read my archives! There wasn't even DINNER! GAH! We have to do better this year! We have a WEEK! Although. I should probably lower my expectations. The Husband will be in Boston on my birthday--Babe, I'll settle for a JOB for my birthday present this year, mmmkay?

And we just won't mention how old I am, ok? Thankyouverymuch.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Taking more time off of work when I was healthy just to enjoy the pregnancy. Relaxing in my own skin a bit more.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Under the Big Top. Omar the Tent Man. Invest in MuMus people. Thar she BLOWS!

32. What kept you sane?

The Husband, of course. He really should get to put that on his resume. Additional Skills: Keeping Wife Sane. Miraculous.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Fancy? Dominic Mafham. Hello, Mr. Lightwood.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Honestly? Abortion. I'm not sure why it's a political issue--it's more a social issue, but there it is.

35. Who did you miss?

The Usual Suspects: Whimsy and Samwise and Sarah.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Met or became friends with? Met? Mary Grey. She's awesome. Became friends with? Kristin--she's pretty awesome too.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

You don't always get what you think you want. But you will get something to make it all alright. You may not recognize it at first, but it's there. Just waiting for you to figure it out.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Strip away the layers and reveal your soul
Got to give yourself up and then you become whole
You're a slave to yourself and you don't even know
You want to live the fast life but your brain moves slow
If you're trying to stay high then you're bound to stay low
You want God but you can't deflate your ego
If you're already there then there's nowhere to go
If you're cup's already full then its bound to overflow
If you're drowning in the water's and you can't stay afloat
Ask Hashem for mercy and he'll throw you a rope
Out of night comes day and out of day comes light
Nullified to the One like sunlight in a ray,
Makin' room for his love and a fire gone blaze. ---Matisyahu

Happy New Year!