Tag Archives: Baby

Weekly Lessons Learned

  1. Baby’s poop is supposed to be yellow if you’re breastfeeding. Lentil’s hasn’t been yellow for weeks. Doctor told me not to worry, but I have. I thought I needed to nurse more, or better (getting every last drop of hindmilk). Um, no. If you take prenatal vitamins, the iron turns the baby’s poop green.
  2. When a baby gets a rash, do not use your regular wipes. Use only cotton balls and warm water.
  3. A hair dryer (on low!) helps dry out the baby’s bottom.
  4. Do not leave cotton balls in the baby’s new diaper when you put her back to bed, even if it’s 5:38 in the morning.
  5. Baby vomit is relatively odorless and should not cause you to retch.

Diaper Testing, one, two, three

Before Lentil was born, Mister and I talked about cloth vs. disposable diapers. I thought that cloth was the way to go rather than create little bundles that could never break down. A co-worker turned me on to Mother-ease, her choice of diapers, but another friend swore by the Bum Genius. So, I bought one each of three different kinds of cloth diapers: a Bum Genius 3.0, a FuzziBunz, and two kinds from Mother-ease, the Sandy and the all in one.

We’ve happily used Pampers Swaddlers and Seventh Generation Chlorine Free diapers since Lentil’s birth. (The hospital sent us home with Swaddlers; I’d purchased some Seventh Generation prior to going in.) Swaddlers don’t leak and are super absorbent but I feel like the Seventh Generation are probably less toxic in the long run.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve tested the Mother-ease Sandy (and didn’t like it) and the Bum Genius (very happy). I have yet to try the FuzziBunz, but I ordered 12 more Bum Genius from Cotton Babies tonight. We are making the transition to cloth. I use white vinegar in an initial wash, then I rewash the diapers. Lentil seems very comfortable in the Bum Genius. Here’s hoping the honeymoon lasts.

Cotton Babies has a cloth diaper reference that is helpful for answering various questions including, “Do I have to sanitize my washing machine?” (No.)

Revisioning finances

I went on maternity in early October as my blood pressure elevated and my feet swelled. Two trips to the hospital which became four were enough to keep me home and off my feet until I delivered Lentil. The school district used my sick days to cover the first part of the leave (about 2/3 of October) before shifting to extended leave; at this point, my monthly salary pays for the long term sub who is teaching my class for the rest of the school year. In a few weeks, when my eight weeks of maternity is up, I’ll be off the books on a leave of absence. Mister and I will have to cover the cost of my insurance, either through cobra or I find an alternative for the year.

We sat down and went through our household budget to make sure we could manage on his salary. We use Wesabe, Mister’s company, to set spending limits and track our budget.

One of our weakest spending areas is food. We eat out too much, especially for folks who like to cook and own too many cookbooks. This last summer, between Mister’s work schedule and my pregnancy, cooking wasn’t much fun so we used any excuse possible to eat out. I’m ashamed to disclose what our monthly spending was, but it was silly high. No surprisingly having a baby has cut our dining out bills remarkably, but then, we are also shopping smarter and cooking more. We use our Marin Sun Farms meat CSA regularly, as opposed to never. Or, worse yet, we’d take meat out and defrost it, then not use it. Waste, waste, waste. The chickens are happier, too, because they get vegetable scraps more often. It’s a win-win for the household.

On my own, I looked for recurring bills that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t need. For example, I said good-bye to Earthlink, an account I’ve had for nearly a decade. With the advent of gmail and my mac.com account, I didn’t need to spend even $9.95 a month for Earthlink ($120 a year). I also cut out Pogo.com, a $5.95 a month game site that’s a time suck. With a new baby in the house, I don’t need a time suck that isn’t all about her. Last to go was my typepad account. Frankly, I prefer typepad to wordpress for various reasons, including ease of list management, but it was another $8.95 a month I could cut with little pain.

One of Wesabe’s users, CymbidiumKelly, instituted a “no spend month,” hoping to save $1500 in a month. Can you imagine what you’d save if you cut out your morning lattes, dining out, movies, more yarn your stash doesn’t need? Check it here.

Being out of work and reworking our household budget has made me look at my money very differently than I have in a long time. What else can I cut? What can I sell? How can I help keep us on budget?

Baby, Oh Baby! — hats and blankets

Rudich’s Lentil Hat

Originally uploaded by gabbyenoaktown

My friend the Radish has her hands full with baby gifts this year. (One came in April, two more are due … that we know of.)
The hat and blanket are from MinnowKnits and are cuddly soft.

The second hat, the blue fish hat, is Alicia’s, knit for her baby. She modified the top and added the fish (tweaking the i-cord).

Laughing at Doctor’s

Laughing at Doctor’s

Originally uploaded by gabbyenoaktown

Mister likes to take pictures of the Lentil, and me, whenever the mood strikes.
There is a serene version of me in the doctor’s office, but Mister was making me laugh.
The Lentil is heading into its 27th week. Kicks, by the way, are totally weird. They start like little fish flutters but have moved to showing bumps against my belly. Lentil isn’t so packed in my belly that we’re seeing elbows and aliens but the feeling is elbows and aliens.

Vacation From My Vacation

Summer break started on June 15 around 10am after I dropped off final grades and forms at the high school. The first week I had lots to do, the second week was a little quieter.

This week, though, we are in New York. Mister has business here and I have downtime. Yes, that’s right, Mister is calling this my vacation from my vacation.

What luxury! Yesterday, we had late breakfast/early lunch at Think Coffee on Bowery. Mister had a PB&J on wheat while I had an unremarkable mozzarella and tomato with pesto on “sourdough.” Sandwiches aside, I like the place with its calm interior and not-too-worn moss velvet couches. After we went our separate ways, I headed up Bleeker and ended up Purl Patchwork. I picked up several fat quarters with the plan to stitch them together into a baby quilt. We’ll see when it happens though I was definitely smitten with the idea (at the time). I stepped down a couple of doors to Purl to pick up stitch markers as I have nearly finished the second leg of the baby pants (from Hannah Fettig’s Closely Knit book). The pattern calls for 54 stitches cast on but those would be way too big, it seemed, so I ripped out the first leg and cast on 44 stitches. Or did I? When I joined my two legs, knit in Manos del Uruguay’s Cotton Stria (a yarn that looks good but is irritating to knit with — too sticky), I had to count stitches to place the stitch markers. Voila! I found one little leg was 40 stitches while the other was 44. Lucky me! I had a five hour flight to JFK and cranked out the other leg while watching back to back episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Flipping Out. (I am becoming a reality TV show junkie.)

The pants I’m working on are for a friend from work who is due the end of July. Even though I have zero need for more yarn, I wanted to find something to bring home. So, I picked up three skeins of Habu mohair boucle (less 40%), Nashua Natural Focus Ecologie Cotton in a lovely yellow (for my own pair of Fettig’s pants) and grey-ish (for the hearts), and a KnitWhits kit — an owl!

The damage didn’t end there, however. Our friends, the Manns, recently had twins. I utterly failed to pick up welcome gifts for the babies in April when they were born (another friend had a second baby in March and received her care package in June). I set out to find something for them. I stopped at Bombalulu‘s on W. 10th. Cute shirts, but I didn’t really want to buy something that says NY on it for New Yorkers (more specifically, Brooklynites). I picked up a two piece outfit for us, yellow with an old New York logo on it. You can wear that in California, can’t you?

Mid-afternoon called for a tea break with my friend Bryan and his fabulous boyfriend, Colin at Cafe Mogador in the East Village. We sat on the roof of their building for a while with their dogs Alex and Darwin (funny, funny boys!) before I headed back along E. 9th to the hotel and found Pink Olive Boutique and a twin set that will work out alright.

I almost picked up a onesie for us that is more of a romper, grey knit with a baby elephant following a mama elephant (holding on to her tail) but decided $68 was not in the cards at the moment. Instead, I bought Lentil a stuffed rabbit and a sleeper (?). I have officially purchased three items for Lentil. Whoa!

Mister and I had dinner with our friend, Upendra, at Degustation, a sushi bar that serves up tapas. Sushi bars make conversation among three people challenging, but it worked. We had the 5-course tasting which was just enough to satisfy without overloading us. I particularly enjoyed the suckling pig and its very crispy skin but I think Upendra and I agreed that the dessert, which I can’t spell, was fabulous in its simplicity. (It tasted like custard and bread pudding together but not too sweet).

I enjoyed watching the economy of energy in the kitchen with the chef, sous-chef, and (underling chef? chef in training?) working in three discrete spaces that seemed small yet perfectly suited to their tasks. This wasn’t the yelling scenario of restaurants I’ve worked in, but a cooperative set-up. The chef had several visitors, which is always nice to see.