Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Booty List

All you need for cloth diapering your super sensitive baby and getting a sort-of-reluctant husband to help out...
When E and I first began discussing cloth diapering, there were really only two questions he wanted answered: How much will it cost? and What do I have to do?

When he realized that it would be far less expensive to cloth diaper our little man than to use disposables, he was all for it. In case you haven't researched it, disposable diapers from birth to potty training can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $2,000 depending on brand and how you shop. Fricking ridiculous, really. Add in the insane amount of trash that you're tossing into a landfill and the pain doubles. For me it was a no brainer.

And then I had to buy some diapers. Cruising around the internet you can get mighty overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about cloth diapering. What the hell is an AIO? Prefolds? Chinese Prefolds? It was like learning a new language. Luckily I had one lone friend of a friend who cloth diapered her daughter, so I followed her lead. If you are interested in finding out all of the basics on CD'ing your kiddo, read here: The Cloth Diapering Mama. It's a great starting point!

Once you decide what kind of diapers you want, you'll need to develop a system. But don't sweat it, like everything else about new babies, you'll figure it out. There are countless products to store, clean and transport your diapers, but you really don't need much. Here are the must have items in our house:

One Size Pocket Diapers by bumGenius and Fuzzi Bunz: We picked the bumGenius because our friend used them and loved them. Then I met a girl who loved her Fuzzibunz. Ask everyone what they prefer and you get a different answer. Different brands fit differently, and what works for one baby won't for another. I chose one size pockets because I like the idea of buying one diaper that will fit from birth to potty training. I'm a cheap ass. If you don't want to spend a fortune figuring out what brand is best for you, try this great Trial Offer from Nicki's Diapers. I wish I'd known about it before!

Cotton/Hemp Liners: Totally necessary for pocket style diapers, especially if your babykins turns out like mine. They call them heavy wetters. He'll be so happy to see that on the internet when he's older. I use the ones made for gdiapers, only because I got them at my baby shower. The gdiapers system ended up being craptastic for us, but the liners fit inside of our diapers, so it wasn't a total loss. You can get them at Babies R Us, too, which is awesome if you get lots of gift certificates and can't figure out what to buy. Those bastards only started carrying bumGenius after Jude was born. Bugger.

Wet Bags: We keep a large hanging wet bag on a hook in our bathroom. It just made more sense to toss dirty diapers in there once we sprayed them, rather than toting them back to the nursery. A little eucalyptus oil sprinkled inside after each wash keeps the bathroom from getting toxic. We also have a couple of smaller zippered style wet bags for going out. I keep one in the diaper bag and one in the car. They are great for wet clothes, too.

A Diaper Sprayer E was a bit disturbed when met with his first soiled diaper, even after we had purchased and installed the sprayer and I explained what it was for. Imagined poo is clearly easier to handle than actual poo. This bad boy makes our lives so much easier. I know a lot of moms use a pail and swish diapers around in water, but I can't imagine getting E to do that. Actually, I can't imagine myself doing that. This thing is like a super powered water gun, so spin it that way and it may be easier to get your reluctant man on board :) Just warn house guests that it isn't a bidet. Trust me.

CJ's BUTTer: My friend Kayster turned me on to this incredible stuff. Since you can't use commercial diaper creams with cloth, I needed something as a "just in case." The disposable diapers we used when Jude came home from the hospital gave him a terrible rash and this cleared it right up! Jude is so sensitive, and this has healed every single spot. Even his heat rash (which the pediatrician claimed could not be treated) was gone in a few days after I applied some BUTTer. The scents are also awesome (Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey is my fave) and it can be used for any skin issue. That reminds me, I'm almost out.

California Baby Diaper Area Wash: We can't use commercial wipes very often without Jude breaking out in a rash. At home we use baby washcloths and water, but it can be hard to get to a sink when we're out and about. I keep a travel sized spray bottle with this wash diluted in water in the diaper bag and it's perfect. A few spritzes on a dry cloth and you're good to go. Plus, it smells awesome, which is great when your cute little bugger stinks to high heaven.

All in all, it seems like a lot of work to cloth diaper, but it is not and it has been so worth it. Along with the financial and environmental benefits, our little man has very few skin issues with cloth, and he looks pretty cute, too. Agreed? 

Gimme somma that!

My stack of recent cooking mags is threatening to topple. I just don't get a chance to read through them all anymore. When I do, I end up flagging something that stands out as quick, nutritious, and including stuff that already resides in my fridge. Long gone are the days of my experimental cookery and hunting down fun ingredients. Mommyhood, go figure.

I amazingly had time to put together a dish from September's Food and Wine, stolen from Nikole Herriott's blog. I made a few adjustments to accommodate the aforementioned limits of my refrigerator. The tomatoes alone are a thing of beauty. I'm imagining them topping hunks of crusty bread smeared with homemade ricotta. Oh right, but then I'd have to find time to make some cheese. And we all know that ain't happening.

Halibut and Summer Vegetables en Papillote
Adapted from Nikole Herriott

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
splash of balsamic vinegar
splash of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp. thyme
4 halibut filets, about 6 oz. each
3 Tbls. butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lemon cut into thin slices
1 large zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/4 tsp. coriander
 4 sheets of parchment paper, 15 inches long

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle the tomatoes with oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme and toss to coat. Spread cut sides up on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until softened and browned.

In a large saute pan, melt 1 tbls. butter over medium high heat. Season halibut with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add zucchini to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining butter to the pan. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Spread parchment pieces on a work surface. On each one lay out 3 slices of lemon, top with a piece of fish, scatter tomatoes, olives, and zucchini on top, and drizzle with butter sauce. Fold paper up and twist edges to seal. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until paper is puffed up.

Here's what happens when you serve this for dinner in front  of a hungry baby:

Linked to:
Garden Variety Wednesday

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bring it, Irene!

Why do the Emergency Managment teams always recommend stocking up on canned goods in a hurricane? Do high winds and rain suddenly make you crave Hormel chili? I can still make a salad, a sandwich, or grill a steak if there isn't power. And you'd need power to heat up a can of beans anyway, so it's possibly the goofiest suggestion of them all. Batteries, sure. Candles, yep. But Spam? I think not.

I hate to say it (ok, no I don't), but E and I have been laughing our butts off at the level of intensity here in Jersey. It's like the zombie apocalypse is about to strike. No gas at the local stations, empty shelves at the market, and our neighbors are nailing down the shingles on their roof. Mass hysteria over a storm. Just like the Nor'easter warnings in RI that turn into 3 inches of fluff. Maybe it's because we've been through several bad hurricanes before and we are more than used to weathermen and their extremism.We've got cases of E's homebrew, I'm baking flourless chocolate cake, and the propane is full on the Weber. What else could we need to get though a hurricane?

Here you go:

'Hurricane Survival Guide' by jojobeandesigns

According to the NJ Emergency Management team, to survive Hurricane Irene one should have a supply of: canned goods, bottled H2O, flashlights, candles, matches, & first aid. I'd like to add coffee, chocolate, & booze. A good book wouldn't hurt ei

















Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.