Tag Archives: FAQ

1/25/12

25 Jan

What I’m up to:

– I am finally getting over a cold that’s left me barely functioning for the entire month of January. I know some of you were a little disappointed about the lack of a Follow Friday post last week, but I had been running on empty for days and halfway through editing I knew it was a lost cause. It will be back with a vengeance next week, though, so don’t worry. It’s not going anywhere! In the meantime, check out my new 50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do series. I’m drawing on all my experience of taking care of Isobel while working with a budget that dips into the negative numbers on a regular basis.

– Speaking of vengeance, last week I asked you to send in your questions about me so I could complete the versatile blogger award. I received  a bunch of emails, DMs and tweets after I threatened people to post Beck lyrics if no one responded. Well call me a dead hobo on the patio! After that threat I was inundated with responses so I will answer a couple per week until I make it through all of them. If you still have a question for me it’s not too late–email, tweet, comment, or DM me and I’ll answer it in a following Snapshot post.

– Isobel occasionally refers to Anthony as “Swiper.”

– Next month I’m going away with some friends to visit my dear friend Stephanie in Reno. I’m excited to cross this item off my life list, even though I’ll be going without Anthony and Isobel. Since we started a family Anthony’s gone away for work and fun a couple times, so now it’s my turn. I’m going to be going four hours away over Donner Pass with my besties. What could go wrong? P.S. Can you be kicked out of a state for being inappropriate? Asking for my friends. Specifically.

-Also, this is the first time I can remember going overnight somewhere without Anthony since 1998. Holy shit.

– Since I’ve been sick I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek, and, consequently, Isobel has watched a lot of Star Trek. Fortunately, she loves it and dances and shrieks with joy when she hears the theme song. I shit you not. It’s hilarious to hear her take on what she sees, too. To her, Klingons are lions, the Borg are robots, and Worf’s son Alexander is a girl.

– I have been getting more photography work, which is good because I feel really guilty about quitting my job to stay home with Isobel in such rough economic times. I’m not going to lie, we’re personally dealing with some rough finances and so are most of my friends. A friend recently sent me a link about the Ten Worst Cities for Finding a Job. If you look on that list, the first five cities are within about an hour from where I live. The other day a girl came to our door and asked if I had any scrap metal for her family to sell. It’s so bad  nearly grabbed my bindle, flung Isobel into a sack of potatoes, and rode the rails to Canada.

– Yesterday we were in line for checkout at the grocery store when I noticed Isobel was chewing on a head of broccoli. I let her. Because it was broccoli.

– One of my recent shoots has been for my bestie’s Etsy shop. She is selling some awesome Valentine’s cards, including robots, Alice in Wonderland, and my favorite, the Anti-Valentine. I really love the Eat Me/Drink Me tags. How perfect would those be attached to a plate of homemade cookies for a housewarming gift? Too perfect.

– If you’re into vintage clothes, check out my friend Valerie’s shop. She has been uploading like mad and I’m personally drooling over several dresses, particularly this 1960s rainbow dress. I probably shouldn’t show you this adorable children’s owl sweater or orange townhouse dress.

Little Big Links:

– Thank the Sweet Baby Picard Jesus those Princess Bride movie remake rumors are false.  Via Amanda Stretch

Goats in a tree. This is called “making my day.” Via Ian Boudreau

Reading Rainbow meets Star Trek. This derailed my whole afternoon. Via Veronique Rickets

– Good as backup NFMBFTKS, but not as primairy NFMBFTKS . Read the first review. For Samurai Ninja Rockstars, only. Via Chris.

Downton Abbey Drinking Game. To my utter delight, Anthony enjoys watching this with me–without drinking, even!

Feminism does not predict poor romantic relationships, in fact quite the opposite. A fascinating study. Via Justin

Weekly Photos:

Reader Question:

This post is running waaaay long, so I’ll answer just a few.

1. Why the Viking liking?

My family is Swedish-American on both sides, and we still have a pretty strong Swedish culture three generations out. I grew up with lots of stories about Sweden, about my pioneer relatives (it was all very Kirsten), and Scandinavian culture in general. I live in an area settled by many Scandinavian families and my parents used to be very involved in the local Scandinavian heritage festival. So it’s just something I grew up around.  That and vikings are badass.

2. Do you still go in your child’s room at night to see if she’s breathing?

Oh hell yes. Though my main paranoia is in regards to her choking. I still want to slice grapes into miniscule pieces for her. I got too far. It’s totally irrational. She has learned she can fake cough to get my attention because she knows I’ll come running.

3. Are you a loser, baby?

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey. Butane in my brain and I became the junky with the plastic eyeball. Spray paint the vegetables dog food skull with the beefcake pantyhose. Kill the headlights and put it in neutral. Stock car flaming with a loser in the cruise control. Baby’s in Reno with the vitamin D, got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat. Someone keeps saying I’m insane to complain about a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt. Don’t believe everything that you breath you got a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve. So shave your face with some mace in the dark. Saving all your food stamps we’re burning down the trailer park.

Yo.

Cut it.

Advertisements

Yo Gabba Gabba Live FAQ: Your Questions & Answers

22 Nov

Last week I took my daughter to Yo Gabba Gabba Live in Sacramento and had a lot of explaining to do when I returned to work. Most of my coworkers had never heard of the awesomeness that is YGG.

Well, it’s this show that has these giant characters and a DJ with an orange jumpsuit and drum major’s hat. It teaches kids how to dance and beat box as well as about the virtues of not biting your friends.

I received comments from curious parents in the previous post, and as a parent, I understand the impulse to want to know everything about a situation before I dive in with my kid.

In this post I’m going to address all the questions that were posed in the previous post. If you have a question that isn’t on here, please ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

(Read about our adventure at the show here.)

What was your timeline like?

My cousin and I planned our trip with flexibility in mind. Our tickets were for the 7:00 show. Here’s a breakdown of the timeline:

3:10 p.m. We hit the road! The drive from my house to Sacramento is an easy one—a straight shot up CA 99 N. Traffic was pretty heavy.

4:50 p.m. Victoria sees her first tall buildings as we drive into Sacramento. She hasn’t traveled very much in her short little life. Isobel, however, first traveled to SF before she was three months old. She’s underwhelmed by buildings. But, hey, a chucho! That truck has a chucho in the back! It’s amazeballs!

5:10 p.m. It takes quite awhile to find parking, so we settle for a parking garage. It’s a garage Liz is familiar with, and she’s also familiar with down town Sac. This is a huge factor to my survival as I once became lost inside a Macy’s.

5:25 p.m. We locate and walk to Momiji Sushi and Grill. Before we left town I used the all-knowing Yelp to select four possible restaurants. Liz and I are both extremely budget-conscious, we wanted something delicious, and the place needed to be child-friendly. Now, I could have easily used one of my travel-apps to find something on the go, but since we had the girls with us, we both wanted to be prepared. We arrived right as they were starting their dinner service. Loved it, would go there again, with or without kids.

6:30 p.m. We eat a leisurely dinner. We use the bathroom twice with our girls, call our husbands, eat, talk and generally have a great time. Nothing is rushed. We were starving and we all ravaged our dinner. Victoria doesn’t want to leave until we remind her that we are going to a Yo Gabba Gabba Party.

6:45 p.m. It takes ten to fifteen minutes to walk from the restaurant to the auditorium. We get there and head to the potty again. Diaper changes and Big Girl Potty time ensues. We take our seats.

7:10 p.m. We have about twenty minutes to kill from the time we’re seated to when the show starts. The show was scheduled to start at 7:00 but it doesn’t get going until 7:10. The girls really want to run around the whole time, which is not happening. We entertain them by playing games and taking photos.

8:30 p.m. The show doesn’t end until 8:30 because of the useless intermission. The girls are hanging on to sanity by a thread. They are exhausted from the excitement and the drive and it being bedtime. We stop by the potty once more before we walk to the car.

9:00 p.m. We reach the car. Isobel is asleep within ten minutes. Victoria falls asleep after about twenty.

10:30 p.m. We roll into town. FIN.

Were there any adults there by themselves?

I can totally understand why you’d want to go see a Yo Gabba Gabba show. We got to see Biz Markie, DJ Lance, and Do It, in addition to musical guest Keller Williams. I honestly didn’t notice if anyone was there without kids (watching the two kids was about as much as I could handle) but I did notice a group of adults that had only one child with them, and they had signs that said things like, “I Love You DJ Lance.” They were also VERY excited about Biz and the Dancey Dance. They were very excited in general. I would not at all be surprised if they “borrowed” a kid and went as a group so they could see the show. I’d do it. I wouldn’t go just by myself because that would be a little odd, but I don’t think it’d be odd at all if you and a friend went sans kid.

How long is the show?

It’s only about an hour, technically. An hour is perfect because you really can’t expect very little kids to endure more than that. However, the show inexplicably had an intermission a little over half way though. It was about fifteen to twenty minutes. NOT COOL. I had a toddler that was 1. getting tired of staying in one area 2. getting tired of using Indoor Voice 3. getting tired from actual exhaustion. Plus, the show is so short the intermission just seemed like a 20 minute-long Kia ad. They had some nerdlingers take the stage and do a very unfunny skit and a Dancy-Dance. BOR-ING! Plus they were so poorly received and just generally terrible that I felt bad for them. But not as bad as I felt for myself, having TWO TODDLERS THAT DIDN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THEIR PERFORMANCE, NOR ABOUT HOLDING STILL.

Can the kids see in the seats?

Some of them, yes, but some of them, no. My cousin’s daughter couldn’t see in her seat so we switched seats. She could see, but my cousin was three seats down from her daughter. Isobel sat on my lap.  I kept angling my head down to her level so I could be sure she had a good view. I saw a few parents bring little booster seats or pillows. I’m sure that made a huge difference. After awhile we just had Victoria sit on our huge pile of coats and purses. It wasn’t the most comfortable, I’m sure, but at least she could see and sit next to her Mom.

 ****************

Things To Keep In Mind

 

PURCHASES

They will sell glow sticks and LED-light-spinners for an exorbitant fee. If I had known this I would have bought cheap glow-stick necklaces or bracelets from the dollar store. The LED-spinners were cool, just overpriced.

They also sold headbands that had Foofa-flowers or Brobie-headhorns on top. They looked pretty cheap, to be honest. It kind of made me want to try to make them myself and put up a tutorial. For funsies.

Lots of kids came dressed in Yo Gabba Gabba shirts and sweaters and even full-on costumes. I love the YGG company and have no qualms with parting with my money for some of their gear. I saw some kids in some pretty adorable licensed clothes.

That said, I happen to like the handmade stuff better. Little Big reader Leo Lorona
commented about making their own t-shirts for the show. Personally, I think that’s AWESOME and I’m a little jealous. If I had thought about it before hand I totally would have made Isobel a shirt. Leo, if you do make these shirts, please link to a photo of it in the comments. I’d LOVE to see how they turn out.

They were selling Brobie backpacks which were pretty adorable. Isobel is still way too young for a backpack, though. I considered getting a poster because they were only $5.00, which I thought was reasonable. It was the end of the show, however, and Isobel was fussing from exhaustion, so we just left.

DANCING

The show encourages people to stand up and dance in place throughout the program. Even if you don’t want to dance you have to stand up and hold your child otherwise they won’t be able to see. This is where it would be wise to make sure there’s one adult per child you bring. If I had brought Victoria and Isobel on my own, there would have been meltdowns each time we were told to stand.

Because of the standing and dancing, Victoria wanted to run around. She tried dancing in the aisle but tripped and fell. Thankfully she was fine and there weren’t any tears. My cousin really was not a fan of the standing and dancing, but I didn’t see a way around it. The TV show is based on standing and dancing.

FOOD

The auditorium sold concessions before the show and during intermission. I saw several adults with beer. I could only imagine eating during the wait before the show. During the show there was much standing up and sitting down and dancing and things would have been dropped or spilled or stepped on for sure. We got there about a half hour early, and even though we came from a huge dinner as soon as we got there Victoria announced that she was HUNGRY. Never mind the fact that she had just eaten her wait in teriyaki salmon and miso soup. Fortunately Liz had a granola bar in her purse for such emergencies. Victoria happily munched away. If I had to do it again I would have brought bottled water with me because I became very thirsty.

CAMERAS

I looked all over for a FAQ online that would tell me if cameras are allowed at the shows. I couldn’t find information on it anywhere, so I just brought my giant camera anyway. There was no way I was leaving it at home. Fortunately, cameras were allowed. I even brought my Flip camera but it was way too dark to record anything on it. It was nearly too dark for my camera. Over half the auditorium had cameras.

 ****************

To Sum Up

* Bringing small snacks or bottled water to enjoy during the wait before the show or intermission might save the day.

* A pillow or a booster seat might be really useful, though I bet your kid will spend at least part of the time in your lap.

* Encourage friendliness with those around you. Your kids will enjoy the show even more if they have happy exchanges with the kids around you. And who knows, maybe one of them will give you a balloon.

* You can bring your camera. And trust me, you should bring your camera.

* Bring glow in the dark necklaces or glow sticks, but keep it a surprise till you get there. That way your kid won’t pester you constantly for a $10 glow stick.

* If you have a costume and your kid wants to wear it, let them. Plenty of kids are in costume and it adds to the fun and excitement.

* Some of the best YGG outfits were handmade. It made me want to step up my crafty parental game.

* I regret not bringing my sling. I meant to, but I forgot. We had to walk several blocks from parking to dinner to the show and then back to the car. I carried her the whole time and a sling would have been so helpful. A stroller would have been too bulky and awful, but a sling would have been just right.

* You might want to bring a special toy of some sort to distract them during the intermission or before the show if you have a wait in front of you. The girls got really antsy. Or come prepared to play the sorts of games one plays on long car rides: I Spy, 20 questions, etc.

If you have a question about something I didn’t address, please ask in the comments! We had a great time and I’d definitely go again.

Shake Your Cloth Diaper Booty V: FAQ & Resources

16 May

And now, a handy guide to Frequently Asked Questions in Cloth Diapering.

How many cloth diapers do you need?

This is a tough question for me because we really do not have enough. I think we started with 17 but now have 15 because we’ve had two get messed up in the washing machine and the elastic came out. Now that I’m typing this I realize we really should have sent those back to the manufacturer as they were under warranty. Damn.

My cousin suggests having at least twenty. She does diaper laundry every other day or every third day, so she probably has more than that.

Although we’re just getting by on diapers, we actually received an extra stack of hemp liners, and if you can afford it, I recommend you go for it. You’ll need extra liners incase you lose one or need to line the diaper for diaper rash cream.

What the heck am I supposed to do if my baby gets diaper rash?

Technically, you cannot use any butt creams or ointments with your cloth diapers as residue buildup will interfere with your diaper’s absorption abilities. If you do use an ointment it would be in violation of your diaper’s warranty, so use it at your own risk.

We did read about a technique, however, wherein you can use diaper cream if you put an extra diaper liner between your baby’s butt and the diaper. When you change the baby’s diaper you’ll need to set that liner aside and wash it separately from your regular diaper load because of – you guessed it – residue. This apparently does not void the warranty, but you should check your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.

Some babies tend to get diaper rash and some babies don’t. Isobel was not a very rash-y baby but one thing that did tend to make her break out was intense heat. Soaring temperatures in late July and August meant a sweatier baby which naturally leads to rash. Keeping your baby as dry as possible down below is best, and my pediatrician even recommended giving Isobel diaper-free time in the heat of summer.

Some argue cloth diapers decrease the instance of diaper rash because they aren’t made of unbreathable plastic and chemicals, but some argue the instance is the same because cloth diapers are warmer in summer. Diaper rash is not the end of the world, it’s treatable, and happens to every baby. I don’t think one diaper or the other is to blame.

What do I do with poop?

When your baby is a newborn, the volume of their poop is so small that most of it will be taken care of by wiping your baby’s bum. As your baby gets older, what you will need to do is collect the solids with toilet paper and flush them down the toilet. If your baby has diarrhea this will be less pleasant than if your baby conveniently formed his or her poop into little balls for you. Ether way, collect the solids with toilet paper and flush them. Then take out the liners and dump the diaper and liners into the hamper. There’s nothing to wipe off with urine, just take the diaper apart and toss in the hamper.

Some places off a poop rinse gadget (don’t you dare google that, just click here) for rinsing the poop from the diaper. I assure you I have never needed that. Even Isobel’s blowouts have been easily handled by wiping off the excess with toilet paper and flushing it away. I know some people really like their poop rinse gadget, but perhaps they also like paying $45 bucks for a toilet attachment. I don’t and I’m saying that in my opinion, it’s not necessary. Your mileage may vary.

We do have a technique for diaper doodie duty now that she’s mobile. When she was a newborn it was easy to just leave her on the changing table while we took care of the mess. Now, however, that would be dangerous, so we set the dirty diaper on top of the closed hamper and finish changing her. When that’s done, we put her in her crib so she’s safe while we tend to the cleaning of poop and the washing of hands.

We’re fortunate that our nursery is very close to our bathroom. If you own a large mansion and your nursery is on a different floor from the nearest bathroom, make the maid do it.

Isn’t washing cloth diapers in the washing machine gross?

You’re gross.

Can I use cloth diapers as soon as my baby’s born?

They do make cloth diapers with a little cut out in the front especially for newborns. The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want anything rubbing or chafing your baby on his/her tender umbilical cord area. Not only is it an unpleasant feeling, it could cause infection. You want to leave that whole area alone. Plus, newborns need their diapers changed about fifteen times a day, so you’d need I don’t know, millions of those little diapers for a two week period.

Basically, you can use cloth diapers from the get-go if you buy the special newborn version with the cutouts for the cords and if you want to launder a ton of diapers after pushing a buckethead of a baby out of your vajayjay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Buy the disposable diapers for two week and forgive yourself because chances are you’ve done worse things in life.

Where do I buy all this crap?

Crap comes FREE with the purchase of every baby! Cloth diapers and supplies will run you a little more.

DIAPERS

Doing a cloth diaper search in google shopping will give you a ton of results. I got all mine through Amazon, however because it was easy enough for me to register there.

I personally use BumGenius 3.0 and I go into detail about the pros and cons here. A little hint: if you are having a girl and anticipate having more children, don’t register for 15 million pink diapers like I did. This will prove expensive if my next child is a boy.

We registered for a bunch of extra hemp liners to have on hand, such as these.

DIAPER PAIL LINER

Searching diaper pail liner will also give you a slew of results, however the one I use and love can be found here. Remember to get more than one or you’ll kick yourself later.

HAMPER

I had a very hard time finding a hamper to work as a diaper pail. All the ones I’ve found online have been rather pricey considering they were plastic baskets, and since they are large, shipping was more than I wanted to pay, too. I had several unsuccessful runs at Target before finding a trash can that was about $7.00 and fit my needs perfectly. Moral of the story: you’ll have better luck finding something cheap if you look in the wastebasket section. Sticking the word ‘baby’ on an item and stores feel justified in charging $20 more than they would otherwise.

WET BAGS

I got all my wet bags on etsy. I particularly recommend  monkey foot wet bags—secure and adorable!—but searching etsy for ‘wet bag’ or ‘cloth diapers’ should yield more results than you ever thought possible.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Remember, check with your manufacturer for the best soap for your diapers. Double-check, so as to not void the warranty. I use Charlie Soap which you can buy online. I think I heard it’s available at some natural foods stores or Trader Joe’s, if you happen to live near one. I don’t.

POO SPRAYER

Do you have $45 bucks you don’t need? You can buy a Poo Sprayer! Just click here)

PRODUCT REVIEWS AND FORUMS

Product reviews, diaper tips and a forum can be found at The Diaper Pin.

This site has reviews and giveaways but you have to register.

Tons of cloth diaper info can be found at All About Cloth Diapers.

If there are any other questions relating to cloth diapers or something you’d like me to go over again, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. My cousin Liz really helped me get started in this and I would love to return the favor for someone else.

Happy pooping!