Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Day in the Life of Me, a Stay-at-Home Mom

5:00 a.m.  After dreaming of emptying my bladder for several hours (it seems), I finally get out of bed to use the bathroom.  Return to bed to find toddler sprawled across the bed.  Go back to sleep on a sliver of mattress.

7:30 a.m.  Wake up to coffee already made.  Having a timer on the coffee maker is almost like having a butler.  Almost.

7:45 a.m.  Toddler's diaper leaked on bed.  Strip bed.  I wash the sheets for the second day in a row.  This happened yesterday, too.

8:00 a.m.  Let toddler run amok for a little while.

9:00 a.m.  Toddler's date with Caillou.  Toddler will finally sit still for breakfast.  I'm hungry for lunch already.  Eat leftovers.

9:30 a.m.  Finish cleaning stove, a project started the previous afternoon.  It really is a two-day job.

9:55 a.m.  Enjoy the aroma of a pumpkin-scented candle.  Hold toddler's hair back as she sings "Happy Birthday" and blows out said candle.

10:00 a.m.  Clean back deck, cursing the mess.

10:30 a.m.  Light candle again.  Hope toddler doesn't notice.

10:45 a.m.  Start some ironing in preparation for a trip out-of-town.

11:30 a.m.  Lunch.  Grilled cheese and strawberries.  Brownie just because.

12:00 p.m.  Decide to wash linens on "guest bed."  Said guest bed is toddler's top bunk mattress on the floor of our "office."  No one has slept in the guest bed but the dog.  Nonetheless, I'd like to make the bed but sheets are dirty and blanket is clean.  The blanket needed to be washed because a week prior the toddler played outside in the dirt and ran inside and jumped on the bed.

12:15 p.m.  Make note to self:  finish building toddler's bunk beds, preferably before the new baby arrives.

12:30 p.m.  Toddler wants to blow out delicious-smelling pumpkin candle.  Hold toddler's hair back as she sings "Happy Birthday" and blows out said candle.  Sneak back to candle and relight.

12:45 p.m.  Feeling ambitious and on a roll with all the laundry and ironing, I decide that the hubby's shirts aren't going to wash/iron themselves. 

1:00 p.m.  Formerly diapered naked poopy toddler runs into the house.  Tell naked poopy toddler to freeze while poopy diaper is located in the backyard.  Expensive poopy cloth diaper is located without any damage done by the dog.

1:30 p.m.  Talk to girlfriend in Texas for 20 minutes while listening to "Let me talk to Grandma!  Let me talk to Grandma!" in the background.

2:00 p.m.   Toddler discovers that the aromatic pumpkin candle is lit and wants to blow it out.  Hold toddler's hair back as she sings "Happy Birthday" and blows out said candle.  Give up on candle.

2:30 p.m.  Naked toddler wants to paint.  Naked toddler paints self.  It's okay, bath has already been filled in anticipation of toddler painting self.

3:00 p.m.  Aah, Caillou is on. 

3:15 p.m.  Clean poop off of toddler's shoes.

3:30 p.m.  Resume ironing.

4:00 p.m.  Still ironing.

4:15 p.m.  Eek!  Naked toddler in the freshly-made guest bed!  Office is off-limits to dogs and two-year-olds.

4:30 p.m.  Start dinner.  Quiche.  Naked toddler wants to help.  "No, no, no!  Away from the stove!  Don't touch the eggs!  Why don't you play outside?"

4:45 p.m.  Dinner is in the oven.  Continue ironing.

5:30 p.m.  Ironing is done.  Dinner is done.  Wait for hubby to get home to eat.

6:00 p.m.  Hubby is home.  Eat dinner.  Tell naked toddler that she needs to eat her dinner.  "You helped make this.  Don't you want to try it?  Quiche is made from eggs.  You love eggs."

6:15 p.m.  Naked toddler still won't eat her dinner.  "What do you want?  Apples and peanut butter?  Fine."  Prepare apples and peanut butter for naked toddler.  Naked toddler ignores apples and eats peanut butter with her fingers.  Prepare bath #2 of the day.

6:30 p.m.  Realize that I am still in my pajamas.

6:35 p.m.  Hubby straightens up (Thank you, dear!).  Adds laundry to my post-laundry-marathon empty hamper.

7:00 p.m.  I am ready for bed.  Luckily I am already in my pajamas.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Clean and Green

Blogging about cloth diapering yesterday got me thinking about being green in general.  Most of us with small children have those annoying cabinet latches to lock up our chemicals and cleaning products.  Eventually the kids outsmart us and our childproofing.  Plus, some of the latches are just as adult-proof.  But if you think about it, isn't removing the dangerous chemicals the best way to child-proof?  Most of us have separate (costly) cleansers for our kitchens, floors, bathrooms, surfaces, etc.  Is that really necessary?  Are we making things worse with this war on germs?  Is dirt really that bad?

You can go to the health food store and buy "green" cleansers, but do you really need to?  Here are a few non-hazardous ingredients that will clean just about anything that you'd buy a specialty cleanser for:

Kosher Salt
Liquid soap

And here's what to do with those things:

Instead of using bleach, make your own disinfectant for kitchens and bathrooms using 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.

Clean your windows and mirrors with vinegar, water, and newspaper.   Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water and pour it into a spray bottle.  Use newspaper instead of paper towels which cause streaking.  (I wonder if you can use a rag rather than newspaper.  Doesn't reading a newspaper defeat the point of being green?)  

For tile and porcelain, sprinkle on some baking soda and then wipe with a damp sponge.  For tough grime, add some kosher salt into the mix.  Lemon juice or vinegar works for mildew, stains, or to cut grease.

Instead of Drano, try baking soda and boiling water.  Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the problem drain followed by 2 cups of boiling water.  If the drain is still clogged or slow, try chasing it with 1/2 cup of vinegar and watch the volcano erupt.

Smelly garbage disposal?  Shove half a lemon down there and turn the disposal on.  Turn the water on, of course.

Shine your silver with aluminum foil, boiling water, baking soda, and salt.  Line your sink or a bucket with the foil and put your silver in.  Pour in the boiling water, one cup of baking soda, and a dash of salt.  After sitting for a few minutes the tarnish will transfer to the foil.  Voila!  Now doesn't that sound better than spending hours polishing your silver?  If you're so inclined, you can polish using a paste made from three parts baking soda and one part water and a soft cloth.

Freshen your carpets by sprinkling on baking soda and then vacuuming.

To naturally bleach out your laundry, hang it outside to dry.  Sunlight is an excellent sanitizer.

Using natural cleansers is something that I'm really interested in learning about and I am by no means an expert.  I care about the environment, but my family's health is a more important reason for me to be green when I can.  Plus, I'm cheap thrifty.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cloth Diapering

When I was pregnant with Joey I began to hear buzz about cloth diapering.  But not cloth diapering as I had ever heard about it, where white rectangles of cloth were folded and pinned and put in the toilet to wash off poo and then picked up by a service who brought you more diapers.  The diapers I was hearing about were brightly colored or had funky prints, closed like disposable diapers, and were washed at home.  I thought they sounded neat but didn't give them a whole lot of thought.

When Joey was about 14 months old I decided to give cloth diapers a little more thought.  I talked to the ONE person that I knew who cloth-diapered and did a little research on the Internet.  I bought a couple of diapers to use just while we were piddling around the house (no pun intended).  As soon as that box with my rainbow of diapers arrived, I was hooked.  I ordered more, and we became full-time cloth-diaperers.  We even cloth-diapered on vacation.  I was proud that we were saving money and that we weren't filling our landfills with disposable diapers.  Sure, you have some extra laundry and therefore you use extra water and electricity, but it's a trade-off.

Now we have several friends who are having babies and are planning to use cloth diapers.  The options can be very overwhelming.  But the truth is, it's not rocket science.  Most of the cloth diapers on the market today were designed by parents, not large manufacturing companies with millions to spend on R & D.  New age cloth diapers basically consist of a waterproof cover and absorbent layers inside.  You can also find cute diaper covers that you use with the old-fashioned diapers.  You need more absorbency?  Add more layers!  Cloth diapers do make a baby's bum really big (you'll probably need to buy pants one size larger), but that's because the cloth makes diapers absorbent, not chemicals like disposable diapers contain.

We used bumGenius 3.0 one-size because they had the best consumer reviews and they would last until potty training.  The one-size diapers have snaps to adjust the rise to fit babies 7 - 35 lbs. and have a pocket to put the absorbent insert.  These are also called "pocket diapers."  Some people prefer "all-in-one" diapers because there are no inserts to deal with and they are most like disposable diapers.  However, an advantage to pocket diapers is that you can double up on the inserts if you have a heavy wetter or if you like extra absorbency overnight.  The bumGenius 4.0s have just come out, and they're mostly the same as the 3.0s but they have snap closures (as opposed to Velcro) as an option.  I have actually sent my diapers to a service that replaces the Velcro with snaps because ours was looking worn and I wanted to freshen them up for Baby Losavio.

After I had finished my diaper-shopping spree, we had 16 diapers.  These need to be washed about every 1 1/2 to 2 days, whenever 12 - 14 are dirty.  Call me anal, but I like to organize the clean diapers into a nice Roy G. Biv rotation.  I do it partly to make sure that the diapers are wearing evenly and partly because I like how pretty they look in Joey's drawer.  We store our dirty diapers in a dry plastic container with a lid, which contains the odor pretty well.  Every so often the bin should be washed with soapy water.  You'll know when.  We wash the solids into the toilet using a diaper sprayer.  The diaper sprayer is not really necessary, but it is convenient.  Some people wash their diapers with the rest of their laundry, but I wash them separately.  First, I put them through a quick cold rinse cycle with a small amount of detergent.  Then a regular hot cycle, again with about 1/4 to 1/2 detergent, with an extra rinse.  It's important to not use too much detergent and also to use an extra rinse because excess detergent can affect the absorbency.  Your detergent should also be additive-free, like All Free and Clear.

I have been very satisfied with the bumGenius diapers, but if we were to buy more I would probably buy Smartipants.  Smartipants have all of the great features that bumGenius diapers have, but the insert does not need to be removed before washing.  It comes out on it's own, like magic.  Also, Smartipants range in price from $12 to $15 so there's a little less of an ouch factor when getting started.  bumGenius diapers are about $18 each, but some 3.0s are still available at a discount.

If you happen to know of an efficient system for using cloth wipes, please share.  We had been using cloth wipes and bumGenius bottom cleaner, but the solution was expensive and the homemade version that I made irritated Joey's bum.  So we use disposable wipes which is just gross.  Really, I think that cloth wipes moistened with water would work just fine in most cases, but please comment below if you have a good system.

Baby Losavio: 23 Weeks

Baby Losavio is more than 11 inches long and weighs about as much as a large mango.

Sometimes when I feel her moving I can also see my belly move.  She can hear sounds from outside of the womb, like loud music or Macy barking.  I hope that the dog's barks won't faze her and that she'll sleep soundly through it.  Right....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is My Soapbox Recyclable?

Anyone remember my pile of recycling?

 It's still there.

Our fair city has discontinued their "recycling program," which was really just a couple of containers at City Hall.  I suppose we are either supposed to fill landfills with our recyclables or let Tuscaloosa be responsible for our recycling.  This really shows our mayor's commitment to one of his key issues, ha!

Dear Abby....

I'm in need of some advice.  Please leave a comment if you've got any.

Joey will be (almost) 3 years old when her baby sister gets here.

Although she is really excited that she's getting a baby sister, we're concerned that she might resent the baby for taking away our attention and engage in disruptive or attention-getting behavior.  It's inevitable that she will do things to get our attention once the new baby is here, but I'd prefer if it didn't happen all the time.

How did you prepare your child for a new sibling?  I'd also love suggestions for books and/or videos that you've used.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eat mor chikin.

Today at Chick-Fil-A I watched some very cautious grandparents cut their one-year-old grandson's fruit and chicken into the smallest pieces I've ever seen.

Should I have told them the chicken is fried in peanut oil?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is deliciousity a word?

Paul woke up bright and early this morning to bring us Krispy Kreme donuts.  Well, not so bright and early but he did have to drive across town. 

Joey devoured her donut and then asked for another.  Okay, what's the harm?  She ate her second and then helped herself to a THIRD!  She's got her daddy's sweet tooth. 

Zero grams trans fat?  Practically health food.  100% delicious?  I 100% agree.


Happy Tree Anniversary

Six years ago today, Paul Losavio climbed a tree to impress me and fell out onto this fence.

We went on our first date the next day and have been together ever since.  Happy Tree Anniversary, Paul.  I love you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Funday Monday

Paul had spent 10 days on a business trip in Chicago, so he understandably took the day off of work today for our epic day of fun.

We had lunch at Kuk's in downtown Tuscaloosa, a Chicago-style lunch spot that serves hot dogs, sausage, and Italian beef among other things.  Paul had eaten all of these things while on his trip, but apparently didn't get enough.  I had my first ever Italian beef sandwich...mmm.  We will be going back.

We decided to leave our car at Kuk's and walk down the hill to the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk.  Unfortunately, sidewalks are either damaged or non-existent and there are no crosswalks.  The only pedestrians we passed on the way to the river were crackheads or heading to AA.  The Riverwalk is gorgeous but it would be wonderful if it was more accessible from downtown.

Where's the sidewalk?

On our way back to our car we stopped at the new municipal park in downtown T-Town.

The lovely not-for-kids-to-play-in fountain.
Paul loves climbing trees.  More about that tomorrow.
After all of that walking we were in need of some fro-yo. 

We decided to check out the new Bryant-Denny Stadium expansion and ended up breaking and entering.  For real.  The door was unlocked and we walked right in.

All of this fun is exhausting.

Baby Losavio: 22 Weeks

Baby Losavio is now the length of a spaghetti squash and about one pound.  She's starting to look more like a newborn baby.

That is obviously not a baby.  That is a spaghetti squash.  This is what she looks like:
My belly is definitely bigger than that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Hobby

I've decided to take up a new hobby:  crocheting.  I checked out some books from the library and bought $4 in supplies from Hobby Lobby.

I want to be able to make things like this

and this.

And yarn is just so yummy.

If my hobby doesn't work out I can always do this.

Photo links:
Hat with earflaps
Amigarumi bear with mushroom
Yarn skeins
Yarn mobile

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wild Thing

The day Joey wore her winter hat and made mischief of one kind and another

her mother called her "wild thing"
and Joey said "I'll eat you up!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This morning Joey and I went to story time at the library.
Rocks?  Check.  Cow?  Check.  Joey is ready to go. 

Hiding under the table.

The best thing about the toddler story time is that the kids are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.  Story time starts and ends with music and dancing, and there is dancing between each story.  The librarian doesn't mind if the kids move around as long as they're not disruptive.  At the end there are usually bubbles.  Joey enjoys that best of all.

Joey had to "call her grandma" from the payphone at the library. 
After the library we went to the Chikin Park (aka Chick-Fil-A).  Watching the kids playing is like looking at the primate exhibit at the zoo. 

Joey enjoys deliberately getting stuck after seeing a kid get stuck like this a few weeks ago.
Running up the slide is so much better than sliding down.

We borrowed The Lion King on VHS from the library.  Yes, they still have those.  Personally I like cassettes.  While the quality isn't as sharp as Blu-Ray, tapes aren't as fragile as discs.  So many of our movies are unplayable thanks to a certain two-year-old.  Anyway, Joey enjoyed watching the movie, but doesn't really understand the whole "circle of life" concept.  She kept asking where Simba's dad, "He got hurt and he had to go to the hospital."  I was anxious to show her a Disney movie that didn't involve princesses (although Simba is a prince -- let's not get too technical here), but this movie has some violence!

Speaking of Disney princesses, I really enjoyed this linked video from The Second City Network.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I wish that, by magic or something, this little guy would appear on our TV at a moment's notice.

Maybe we should just buy a DVD.

Just another day...

For lunch today, Joey requested "porridge" (really oatmeal), cereal, and strawberries.  I added some blueberries just for kicks.

She was naked, of course.

This is what the top of my refrigerator looks like.  Joey is into everything.  With the help of a chair she can access all of our former "safe" places:  counter tops, bookshelves, the top of the dresser.  The refrigerator is the only place that she can't reach...for now.  This week she learned how to climb on the kitchen and bathroom counters.  We're in trouble.

In other news, it's time to take the recycling in.  Come home, Paul Losavio!  We really need curbside pickup...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bathing Beauty

Joey loves baths.

This is her second bath today.

If I'm not watching she sneaks out of the tub and brings toys back in.

Her "bath toys" include but are not limited to:  empty bottles, plush bunny rabbits, baby dolls, watering cans, and Macy's rope toy.  As you can see, there is no shortage of bath-specific toys in our household.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This AIN'T No Nudist Colony

Today Joey peed in the potty and pooped in the backyard and told me that she doesn't need diapers now because she is a big boy.

This comes a few days after she pooped on her carpet and attempted to clean it up herself.  (I love that our neighbors have a carpet cleaner and generously let us borrow it.)  Later that same day Paul came home to find Joey squatting on a chair and pooping.

I think that Joey is fully ready to potty-train.  She's been using the potty sporadically for more than a year.  She knows what to do.  We tried using a rewards system of stickers and M&Ms a few months ago, but she just wasn't ready.  This time she is not asking for any reward for using the potty.  I think that being allowed to run around completely naked is reward enough.

Baby Losavio: 21 Weeks

Baby Losavio is about the length of carrot (10 1/2 inches) and is about 3/4 pound.  She also has eyebrows!

I can't believe that we're more than halfway through this pregnancy.  Time flies when you're chasing a two-year-old!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

For a couple of months now I have been making my own laundry detergent and since it's time to make some more I thought I'd share.

The ingredients are:
One bar grated Ivory soap
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda

I dice the bar of soap and grind it using the food processor and then add the other ingredients. 

Use 1 tbsp per load, more if it's particularly dirty.  It's super cheap and cleans our clothes really well.  Our laundry smells just like I've used unscented laundry detergent.  For softener I use distilled white vinegar.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby Losavio: 20 Weeks

Today was our 20 week prenatal appointment and ultrasound to determine the baby's gender.  Before our appointment we took the obligatory belly shots. 
"Hi, there!"

You might not find sonogram pictures to be very exciting, but I can't stop looking at them!

It's a girl!

Her head is on the right.  You can see her profile.

There's her foot!
I'm feeling her kicking and doing somersaults very regularly and Paul and Joey have also felt her moving!

We'll have another ultrasound at 24 weeks so that they can take some measurements that the little squirmer wouldn't allow for.


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