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Monday, April 23, 2012

My two (or 25) cents on cloth diapers

 Not too long ago if someone would have asked if I was interested in cloth diapering, I would have laughed and denied any interest, probably with a grossed out expression.  Cloth diapers meant having to dump a bunch of money on disgusting contraptions that will inevitably result in touching poop.  And really, who wants to touch poop?  That only ever happens on accident and it’s the worst.

In the movie “The Wedding Singer,” Adam Sandler’s character said, in reference to his experience with money, “I’m a big fan of money. I like it. I have a little. I keep it in a jar on my refrigerator.  I’d like to put more in that jar.  That’s where you come in.”

I can relate to this. I’m a fan of having money.  I have a little, and I’d like to do what I can to fill my jar (I don’t actually have a jar of money, don’t bother trying to rob me). That’s where cloth diapers come in. 

I’m pregnant now and I have a 19 month old who was, unfortunately, not born a potty-trained prodigy.  As it turns out, this whole diaper thing was for real and I had to buy them.  I tried to calculate out how much we’ve spent on diapers over the past 19 months but quite honestly, I don’t have the patience or brain power to put together all those numbers in a meaningful way.  So, essentially I’m not going to give an estimate of accumulative cost, but I will say that with my girl’s sensitive booty, we’ve had to stick with a more expensive diaper brand. They ended up costing us a quarter each (more or less, depending on size) and unless I’m in a bind, I refuse to buy diapers without a coupon.  As an infant she would, without fail, wait until she had a clean diaper, then fill the darn thing up.  I could almost hear the quarters dropping.  My husband and I eventually counted our visits to the changing table in quarters. Cha-ching!

We recently moved to Alaska.  This place is fabulous in almost every way!  It’s gorgeous, fresh, and is home to many of my favorite people.  Now, before you go packing your bags to come join me in this amazing place, please hear me, it’s also very, very expensive.  We’ve been here for about three months and I still feel physical pain when I get groceries- Or to even look at them; kiwi for $.78, an unimpressive container of mutant strawberries for $6, or grapes for up to $4/lb.  It hurts my heart, and it really hurts the aforementioned hypothetical jar of money. I want to help provide my family with good things, but the fruit my mouth waters for sometimes is put on the wayside because I’m reserving my quarters for those dreaded diapers!

And you know what?  I’m tired of being a sucker! 

Peeking at the other side of sucker-ville, I’m slowly testing the waters outside of my comfortable box.  I have a tendency to be somewhat impulsive.  Mix my impulsivity with a little peer pressure, the desire and calling to be wise financially and top it off with a high five for green living and I’ve got myself a little cloth diaper stash!  I’m part of a childrens buy/sell/trade facebook group in my area and I saw a post for gdiapers that someone was selling.  I’d heard good things about gdiapers, and I hate to miss a sweet deal, so I snagged it!  I figured that while I’m just getting my toes wet, and I’m not diving in head first, used diapers might be worth the investment.  If I hated it, at least I wouldn’t be sunk and financially obligated to stick with it.  Plus, I’d get to put the sanitary cycle on the washing machine to use.

I can’t fully explain why I figured it’d be ok to get used diapers, when I would never consider wearing someone elses’ undies, but ultimately, I feel confident that I bought from someone who wouldn’t be spreading diseases.
1. Her house, despite having three (soon to be four kids), was immaculate.
2. She rearranged the furniture in her living room within a week between my stops there; A kindred spirit.
3. The poor gal was 9 months pregnant and “needed” to clear things out.  De-cluttering brings me joy, and my helping her de-clutter brought us both joy!

Not long later, the “diaper lady” posted that she had some one-size pocket diapers available.  I had already determined that I wanted to try out a variety before sticking to one kind, so I told her I was interested.  She just had her baby and underestimated the number of small diapers she needed so she offered to trade me some of the smalls for some one size pockets. Easy.  I brought her some smalls and she seriously hooked me up. She reassured me several times that I was doing her the favor, but I still feel a little bit guilty, like I ripped her off. 

So here’s what’s up, from stepping a little bit out of my box, I got a sweet stash of cloth diapers/inserts started for $75, helped a fellow mommy do her best for her kids, I get to save some quarters and a teeny part of the world.  Not only that, but my incoming boy will get to have a cute booty, my “jar” will refill and we will eat fruit till we burst.

So far I just look at them.  I’m still a little intimidated by them, but I’m getting closer.  One toe at a time, I’m testing the water. One day soon I’ll take the plunge and risk possibly touching something with poop on it.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sickie girl

Oh heavens, what a day.  Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

I slept horrendously all night, listening to my daughter cough, shuffle in her crib and moan as the cold she had suddenly developed worsened.  She was obviously uncomfortable much of the night.  Finally, at 6:22am she declared that she was "all done" and shouted, "diaper," indicating that she had pooped.  I couldn't just roll over and let her stay poopy, so I dragged my hefty self out of bed and changed the sick-o diaper awaiting me.  It was about an hour and a half earlier than our normal arousal, which would have been fine, but I was really banking on a typical schedule because I had plans to babysit my friend’s little guy.  It was supposed to be a wonderful day full of giggles, playing and maybe crayons.   I was even going to bake pretzel rolls during nap-time.  Really, it was going to be an excellent day!

So, she woke up too early and was not her typical hit-the-ground-running self.  Rather, she was a little lethargic.  I couldn’t blame her, I was pretty tired too.  wait, if we’re both way tired still, why don’t we go back to bed? So we did.  She clung to me and said “night night, Mommy,” indicating that she wanted to lay with me.  Fine.  We went to my bed and snuggled.  That’s when I realized she wasn’t quite right.  Her breath was shallow and very fast.  It was as though she had previously been worked up and I was holding her to calm her down.  I watched for a minute before texting my mom, concerned.  Mom validated my thought and suggested I take her to the doctor today. 

Um, wouldn’t that disturb my plans for a perfect all day play-date?

I put her in her crib, Carson came over and we played while Molli napped.  I called the doctor and they wanted me to come in asap.  ASAP? That means one thing when it only involves me, but means quite another when it involves a sleeping sickie and a jammie wearing babysitting boy.  I summoned my inner Speedy Gonzales and threw some clothes on myself and Carson, packed up some snacks and toys, woke my girl up and slipped her into clothes.  Impressed with my hustle, I drove to the doctor’s office with toddlers buckled up and happy staring at each other in the back seat.

Toddlers in tow, I loaded the stroller and myself to the max with all the junk they might have needed.  I didn’t know how long we’d have to wait so we came prepared. Once the doctor saw Molli, my concerns were not leveled.  Basically, she didn’t know what was up, but it wasn’t good.  She ordered a chest X-ray, oxygen monitoring, an RSV swab and a breathing treatment at the hospital. 

Keeping hydrated at the doctor's office

Play-date over.

I had to call in for backup because I had used up all my super-mom-ness for the day and couldn’t do all the hospital stuff by myself, with an extra little one.  We got things figured out. Carson went to his grandpa’s and my mom rescued me.  She came along with me to the hospital and I’m so, so grateful.  From the smaller helps like carrying our junk, to the big ones like taking over in the X-ray room when I had to leave (I couldn’t stay in there because of the little guy in me).  Mom helped when I had to basically lie on top of Molli during the RSV swab.  Which, by the way, is no simple swab! She helped listen to what the doctors said and reminded me of what we needed to do next.  Basically, when my mind goes, Mom steps up. Mom rocks!

Long story short(ish):  Molli’s oxygen level was at an 89%.  No one was comfortable with that at all, but she didn’t have a fever so they didn’t hospitalize her.  She had a breathing treatment, which helped some of the crackly gross sounds in her lungs, but she was still breathing poorly.  The RSV results came back later today and were negative.  Unfortunately, her X-ray showed that she has pneumonia.  Her symptoms are indicative of bacterial pneumonia so she’s on antibiotics and has an albuterol inhaler.  She is NOT a fan of the inhaler.  There are a ton of cases of strep around here, with very bizarre, atypical symptoms and it’s possible that strep is the culprit.  We are going back to the doctor tomorrow morning to check up on her lungs and her oxygen levels, hoping for substantial improvement to avoid hospitalization. 

Prior to breathing treatment 

Getting ready for the X-Ray.  No one is too sure about the holding device. 

While we’re at the doctor tomorrow, I’m going to request a throat culture.  I’m really hoping this pre-sickness feeling is more in my head than actually in my throat.