Monday, December 27, 2010

I wonder if the Beaba cooker could handle a steak

Marlo is seven months old today, which among other things means that I am woefully behind on my six-month reviews. Ah well,  a seven-month review must be all the more authoritative.

Right now, I'm taking a break from making baby food, for my baby who doesn't like baby food. My refrigerator is brimming with apples, and let's face it - when there is Christmas candy in the house, those apples don't stand a chance. What better to do than blend them up for the baby, who might deign to eat them one day?

Yes, we're back to square one with the eating. Marlo has not been a fan of solids, despite her initial enthusiasm. So last night she got completely runny rice cereal, just like the first attempt a month and a half ago. I thought maybe it was a texture thing and tried giving her those little puff things, but she doesn't seem to be a fan of those, either. My latest hypothesis is that she just wants a fork and knife and a big plate of meat like she sees us eating - but rather than try something with that much potential for disaster, I decided to start over instead. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I hate when it's all exposition and no action

If you've been reading this blog for a while (and who hasn't?) then it will probably surprise you to know that one of my big interests is nutrition. You may have guessed that I like to cook - you at least knew I like to eat.

I have a cookbook collection that must be up to about 100 volumes by now. Not to mention all my saved Cook's Illustrated magazines and the millions of pages torn out of my subscriptions to Cooking Light, Eating Well, and Food and Wine. But actually, I hardly ever follow a recipe. That's why it's hard for me when someone eyeballs my cookbooks and asks me which one I cook out of the most. They're mostly like food porn for me - I love to look through them and fantasize. I love nothing more than to get a bunch of ingredients, open a bottle of wine, and try making something. Cooking for me is my most creative release.

It was hard for me, then, to have the baby and lose that free time to just play around with making dinner. When making dinner was a chore rather than the highlight of my day, it really depressed me. It also depressed me that I was eating such a load of crap. All the processed convenience food nonsense that I normally wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole became staples.

But you know what? That baby's getting big. Life is stabilizing - despite my fears that it would never happen, there's a sense of routine and normalcy around here. I hardly dare say it, lest it send life into a complete tailspin, but I think that maybe we have adjusted to having a kid and we can handle day to day life like real people again? I had to make that small so fate wouldn't be tempted.

Anyway, part of the "back to real life" plan is getting the ol' diet back on track. But since my exposition took so long, I'm going to go ahead and save the rest for another post. Merry Christmas, if I don't see you before then.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sickness

My Christmas present to you wonderful people is NOT posting a picture of myself and how I look right now. But if you are brave, you can look here and see a pretty good representation.

I woke up this morning with my left eye glued shut and my right eye followed soon behind. But not soon enough for me to mention to the doctor. The doctor?! You say. Yeah, the doctor, where I went this morning to get antibiotics for the sinus infection I've developed. She was too distracted by (ironically enough) her daughter's eye surgery to press me for details on the "I woke up with snot coming out of my eye" part of my description of symptoms.

I got so miserable that I called my parents' doctor (because he is stupid and gives out his cell phone number) and begged and pleaded for some eye drops to relieve my pain. I asked if he thought my gross eyes were because of my sinus infection, and he said, "nope, probably just a coincidental conjunctivitis." Fabulous. Coincidental pink eye. How lovely.

Well, Merry Christmas, family! my gift to YOU is horribly contagious eye infections! Hurray!

I cannot WAIT to be done with all this sickness.

Friday, December 17, 2010

She also turned me into a newt, but I got better

After feeding the baby at 2:30 this morning, I was having trouble going back to sleep because I was composing a blog post in my head. Finally I told myself, just stop it. This is ridiculous. You are never going to remember any of this in the morning, anyway! 

And whaddya know. I have absolutely no idea what it was that had my brain revving at a million RsPM. Or however it is you measure brain activity.

I've been hit with the Sickness for the second time in as many weeks. That really pisses me off. I blame my sister entirely, for she gave me one of those finger-across-the-neck "I'll kill you" pantomimes Wednesday and by the end of the day my throat was so sore I couldn't swallow without crying. She has voodoo power and must be burned at the stake. The only, uh, bright spot is that Husband is also sick and stayed home yesterday, so he did most of the heavy lifting when it came to baby care. She also has developed the snarfles (you might call them the sniffles) and I am dreading the idea that we are all three just going to pass around the same cold for time immemorial.

But. It's a rare crystal-clear sunny winter's day around here, and I must stop my moping. I should bundle myself and that baby up and go out for a stroll. The fresh air will cure us. Or put us in the hospital for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So tired, I forgot a title

Did I ever tell you about the dream I had where I was dating James Franco? That was a hot dream. Which is weird because I have no amorous feelings toward the guy in real life. I did love him in Pineapple Express, and I do love that he was on General Hospital (because that's just weird), but that's the extent of it. Would I give him the key to my hotel room? Not really. But anyway, back to my dream, it was also weird because it wasn't really me, it was like I was in "Eat, Pray, Love." I wasn't really dating James Franco so much as I was just the lady from that movie and so therefore I was dating him. And no, it wasn't that I was Julia Roberts - oh whatever. Either you get it or you don't care. Either way, no need to keep explaining.

Why do I bring this up? I was reminded because of the Pineapple Express thing. We're experiencing some pretty dramatic weather and apparently the meteorological phenomenon of that name is to blame (as opposed to the weed). So last night was about the most severe thunder storm I've ever seen in these parts. The whole sky was green and the power kept surging, giving the bedroom a charming poltergeist quality.  I was up because I was pretty sure a tree was about to come crashing through the roof to kill us all where we slept, and also because Marlo had no interest in sleeping. At all. Ever. I would say it was probably 3:30 by the time I actually fell asleep, for the first time all night, and she was up again by four. And then again by six. And then again, get it.

She's sleeping now. Been sleeping for a good hour and a half. I would love to go wake her up and give her a taste of her own medicine, but...then she'd be awake. There's no winning.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If I'm completely honest

I could have saved you the trouble of reading (skimming half of) that long-winded cloth diaper post. You want to know the real, honest truth?

I don't like the way clothes fit with cloth diapers. There. I said it.

I saw a woman make that complaint in an online cloth diaper forum back when I was pregnant, and I thought she was a totally shallow ninny.

I know, baby legs and exposed cute cloth diaper. Problem solved! But that's not really that practical. I received about 7,000 onesies as shower gifts. What am I supposed to do, crop them all off? Hem little baby t-shirt seams in my abundant spare time? While I wait for the washing machine to signal that it's time to put the cloth diapers in the dryer? No thanks.

So there. I admit it. My reluctance to use my cloth diapers boils down to baby fashion. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six month review: Cloth diapering

After I finished the first draft of this post, I realized I sounded anti-cloth diaper. When you take into account the fact that Marlo has not worn a cloth diaper in close to a month, it REALLY sounds like I am anti-cloth diaper. The truth? I am totally pro-cloth. In my head, anyway. I love cloth, in theory. I really, really do. In practice, it is a little less lovable - but only a little.

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I spent a lot of time and energy researching was diapering, and specifically the pros and cons of cloth versus disposables. From the get-go I was leaning toward cloth. All of the evidence suggests cloth diapers are better. They are better for the baby, better for the environment. They cost substantially less money than disposables. The only problem is that they are also a giant pain in the ass when your level of ass-pain is already at an all time high.

The ass-pain comes from the extra laundry. Using cloth is a commitment to doing an extra load of laundry every other day - at most, every third day (no matter how many diapers you have, you really can't let the dirty ones sit too long).  It IS extra trouble. And I won't bother making the "it's also extra trouble to run out to the store for more diapers" argument, because I think that's horse manure. It is way easier to use disposable diapers. Period. But you pay for that convenience.

Then there is the issue of the washing of the poop. It's way easy if you exclusively breast feed. The poop is basically cheese curds and it washes away without a second thought. If there is some formula in there, I hear it's more complicated. You have to get the poop out before the diaper goes in the wash. The same goes for once solids are introduced. If I am completely honest, I will tell you that Marlo has worn a cloth diaper about four times in the past month, since she started solids. The last time she wore a cloth diaper, she pooped in it. We were sorely unprepared. Husband had to wash it out in the toilet, old-timey washboard style. I think he is still scarred, and this was probably three weeks ago.

For me, all ass-pain and poop aside, it comes down to the fact that using cloth sits better with my conscience than disposables. Americans throw away 570 diapers every minute, according to the interweb.  That is so much garbage! In our household we try to keep our garbage production to a minimum, so it just kills me to throw out a whole tall kitchen bag of dirty diapers every week. Sure, you can use biodegradable diapers (and we do), but it comes at a cost of almost twice that of traditional disposables. And there is no guarantee that once in a landfill they will actually biodegrade.

So here are my recommendations, based on our experiences with cloth over Marlo's first six months:
  • Don't bother starting cloth right away. Brand new babies poop and pee constantly and their tiny little bodies don't fit in diapers very well. I would wait to start using cloth until your baby reaches the eight pound mark, and then I would use a sized all in one diaper, like a Thirsties or maybe the Bum Genius XS
  • Buy sized all-in-ones as much as your budget allows. Overall, all in one (AIO) diapers are far and away the easiest to deal with. Sure you can save a bunch of money if you use prefolds and covers or whatever, but your ass pain quotient will also be higher. If your choice to use cloth is more about the environmental impact, and the cost savings is just a nice bonus, go for the all-in-ones. You will have horrible sticker shock at first, but then you will do the math on disposables and feel way better.
  • Don't feel like you have to have your baby in cloth all the time. The ladies on the Baby Center cloth diaper board might shun you for using disposables, but I will still be your friend. I promise. Marlo has always worn a disposable at night and when we go out of the house. But two or three disposables a day beats six to twelve.
  • Liners! Get flushable diaper liners. That will reduce the ick factor of washing poopy diapers. I have tried the Kushies liners and I don't really like them, because they are scratchy. I have the Imse Vimse on order. A friend of mine uses them and says if they are only peed on you can wash and reuse them. 
 It's counter intuitive, but for me it was actually easier to do all the diaper laundry when Marlo was younger and going through more diapers. Now that she is wearing about six diapers a day rather than twelve or more, I get lazy about doing the wash. When we had to do the laundry to have diapers to put her in the next day, and therefore it was less of a choice, I did it more reliably. Now it is just easier to eschew the laundry and put her in disposables. You may not have this laziness problem. But rather than look at it as a lazy failure on my part, I choose to take the glass-half-full position instead. I sure saved a TON of disposable diapers during months one to four of Marlo's life.

I still plan on putting her back in cloth once I get my liners (and my act together). I still plan on using cloth on any subsequent babies born into our family. Diapers are basically disgusting no matter which way you go. At least when I use cloth, I get to feel vaguely self-satisfied.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm proud, but also screwed

I just watched as Marlo - age six months, one week and six days - scooted herself over to the ottoman, got on her knees, and pulled herself up. Once holding onto the ottoman, she surveyed the items resting on its surface before selecting one of her books over the TV remote. She then managed to work herself back into a sitting position and sat quietly turning the pages. It was all very casual for the momentousness of the achievement.

The downside to these strides in mobility is that, well, she's starting to move, for one. And when she is not moving, she is trying unsuccessfully to move, which apparently causes her a lot of angst. There have been many tears shed these last couple of weeks, mostly out of frustration.

It was bad enough when I had to try to not kill her, and now I have to keep her from killing herself? Man. This is going to be a long 18 years.

Triple Threat

I mentioned that I'm working on a series of posts. Technically, it's not a series yet - I've been working on the first one for a week now. Apparently I don't remember how to write well anymore.

Sure, I can post this crap, this sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants, grammar and punctuation optional BS. But when trying to put together a nice five paragraph theme, I find myself struggling. Basically I'm no better than the 40 year old former high school football star who thinks he could still win the state championship. I used to be able to write beautifully, but having not exercised that muscle in, oh, a decade, I find it has atrophied JUST a little bit.

Law school, in case you're wondering, doesn't count for writing practice. What you do in law school does not exercise that writer's muscle. What you do in law school kills you slowly, like being bled to death with a million little needle pokes. Plus the occasional hammer to a non-critical point on the skull, just for good measure. But that's a whole separate post, now, isn't it?

Breaking news! I've just discovered that I have some sort of rash all over my forearms! I just get sexier by the minute. I can't wait to go look in the mirror and see if it's also on my face. I'm guessing it has something to do with the eucalyptus steam I've been huffing to try and clear my sinuses (see earlier comment re: sexiness).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Things I no longer have a need for

Since cutting my hair off, there are certain things laying lying around that are no longer necessary:
  • Wide tooth comb in shower, for detangling rats nest of hair
  • My Turbie Twist - mock all you want, I don't care
  • Brush to keep in car, which I just purchased a few weeks ago
  • Big set of hot rollers, purchased on 10/29 and used twice
I think the moral of the story is that I am really good at wasting money on things.

EDIT at 12:52: Bonus points if you can guess what happened to my old big set of hot rollers.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My blood boileth over

Generally speaking, I should not be allowed on the internet. Or rather, I need some sort of parental control over the content I am allowed to access. I should be excluded from all sites containing political discourse, especially if comments are enabled.

The problem is, the internet is full of idiots. Present company excluded, of course. It is a soapbox for all-comers, and most of the people who take advantage of the forum are complete and utter morons, if not entirely delusional and/or criminally insane.

Most might be an overstatement.

But you see, I read the rantings of these lunatics, because I just can't help myself. I have to look the crazy in the eye. But then I get fired up. And then I go do something stupid like post a comment about it on Facebook. That is always a mistake, because everybody knows that politics are not a part of polite conversation, and one must treat Facebook as a cocktail party and not like,  I don't know, a computer screen that only you can see. Real, living people and what not. Then I usually end up in a big fight with bullies I don't even know but who are friends with my friends, and then I am sad and feel all alone in the world. Which is ironic, for a social network.

It crossed my mind to post some rantings of my own on this blog, but I would hate to alienate my loyal readers, who now number in the mid-single digits. Up until now you thought I was all cute and harmless - but it turns out I'm a dirty liberal sympathizer! Who believes President Obama WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. Crazy, I know.

I might not be able to help myself. I'm working on a series of posts called my "six month review," where I discuss my experiences with various baby things, like diapers and breastfeeding, etc. But I may slip something in there about the TSA search procedures and how they absolutely do not violate your 4th amendment rights. For instance.

What can I say? I'm mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Just like Lord Byron. Or Dylan McKay.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Six Months

Holy Crap, I turned around and the baby was six months old.

Yep, last Saturday was her half birthday.  She went to the vet pediatrician on Monday, and weighed in at 17 pounds 4 ounces, 26 and a half inches long. She's advanced in nearly every category, naturally, and perfect in every way imaginable.
Funny story. I told the doctor that Marlo is working very hard on learning to crawl, and she gave me a polite "oh, really?" and smile in response. Cut to three minutes later, when Marlo decided to flip over and get on her hands and knees in the middle of the exam. "Oh wow, you do have an early crawler!" was the doctor's response. I knew she thought I was full of shit. Way to play for Team Mom, Marlo.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shave and a Haircut

Circa 2005
I would like to enter into evidence Exhibit A : Me with short hair and no baby. Just so all you haters know that I am not just giving up on life and getting mom hair - rather, I know from previous experience that I can rock the short look.

So. Here it is, the new 'do. Sorry for the low quality photos. I know you wanted to look at me in HD.

My stylist said, "you have such a cute little head for this haircut." I said, "thanks, you mean my pinhead?" and she spent the next several minutes scrambling to convince me I didn't have a pinhead. I thought that was funny. I should probably be nicer.

I love, love, LOVE having short hair like a boy in the back. I bet I would like to have boy hair in general, except for looking at. The feel of it, I would be all about.

It's a work in progress, but a good start. So glad that I did it. If it looks like mom hair, it looks like the hair of a cute mom I would think would be fun to have a beer with. I would seek this woman out on the playground. And, bonus! No more foot long hairs all over the place. Now I can shed them and think, oh, that's probably just Mo's hair.

I brought home my big long cut-off ponytail to give to my dad for Christmas. It's kind of an inside joke that you may find creepy. But probably not as creepy as how last year I gave him my baby teeth.