Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our World Isn't Disposable

I have been reading a blog titled All About Cloth Diapers for a while now and she does posts reviewing new lines of diapers, funny stories about cloth diapering, and tips on washing and caring for diapers.  She doesn't post daily and I am somewhat fascinated by anybody who has six kids and has been cloth diapering for so long.  I really liked a recent post of hers about why people should cloth diaper.  I liked it so much that I wanted to mention it here in case it might better explain the reasons to use cloth.  I figured that many people don't follow the link to articles, and I feel pretty strongly about this, so I copied her post here.  I feel so strongly about this subject because the more I learn, the more I know using disposable diapers has a negative impact on the world that my baby lives in.  I want the best for her, so I am trying to convince others to take care of this world for her sake.

Are Disposable Diapers Really That Bad?

by Autumn Beck on February 23, 2011

The other day a friend of mine made a comment that made my stomach turn.
I LUUUUUUUV Pampers. I don’t care how much dioxin they have in ‘em.
Bold statement. Sarcasm? Maybe. Defense of a system she knows is bad? Most likely.

Disposable diapers not labled as “unbleached” or “bleached with peroxide” contain Dioxin. Dioxin is a by-product of bleaching paper and according to the EPA is known to cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver.

Many consumers overlook what they can’t actually see (Dioxin), but ignoring the gel crystals is hard to do when they’re all over your child’s private parts.

Sodium Polyacrylate is the super absorbent gel that allows your baby to go 5, 6, 8 or 10 hours in one diaper. No kidding. We’ve all seen those terrible pictures of poverty children wearing a diaper that sags to their knees. It’s not just the poor; it’s also the convenience driven “wealthy” society we live in.

Sodium Polyacrylate has been linked in the past to toxic shock syndrome, allergic reactions and is very harmful and potentially lethal to pets.

You may recall the headlines from May 2010, in regards to Pampers Dry Max diapers. I watched the San Antonio report from one mother claiming serious burns from Dry Max. It broke my heart. You could tell this mom just wanted what was best for her daughter. Many parents don’t even realize cloth diapers is an option today. This mom, and many others, want a diaper that will keep their baby dry. Cloth diapers can give them this result without the harmful side effects.

For more information on Dioxin and Sodium Polyacrylate read Why Choose Cloth Diapers: Health Reasons

What about the environment?

The loudest argument for cloth diapers is an environmental one. Those passionate about being green do a great job at letting their voice be heard.

From the New Parents Guide:
There has been much debate over the impact of disposable diapers and cloth diapers on the environment. The pro-disposable diaper advocates say that the extra water used to wash cloth diapers is just as much of an abuse to the environment as the production and disposal of disposable diapers. But taking into consideration the following estimates you will probably agree that disposable diapers are much more harmful to the environment than cloth diapers.

It is estimated that roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually. It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone. Although some disposables are said to be biodegradable; in order for these diapers to decompose, they must be exposed to air (oxygen) and sun. Since this is highly unlikely, it can take several hundred years for the decomposition of disposables to take place, with some of the plastic material never decomposing.

The untreated waste placed in landfills by dirty disposable diapers is also a possible danger to contaminating ground water. Pro-disposable advocates say that cleaning cloth diapers uses more energy and contributes to the load on sanitary sewer systems and potential water pollution. This view really makes no sense if you think about it. The amount of water used per week to wash cloth diapers at home is about the same amount consumed by an adult flushing the toilet four or five times daily for a week. Also, the greater amount of water and energy being used by diaper service companies to wash large amounts of cloth diapers multiple times; the per diaper impact on energy and water supplies is actually less than home washing.

Finally, when flushing solids from a cloth diaper down the toilet and washing the diapers in a washing machine, the contaminated, dirty water from both toilet and washing machine go into the sewer systems where they are properly treated at wastewater plants. This treated wastewater is much more environmentally friendly than dumping untreated soiled disposable diapers into a landfill.

Are disposable diapers really that bad?
I suppose that depends on your definition of bad. Should we willingly and routinely expose our children to potentially harmful chemicals? Should we ignore that little voice that screams at us every time we throw away a wrapped up (in plastic of course) dirty disposable diaper?

I think the answer is pretty obvious. Yes, disposable diapers really are that bad.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I had a long day at work.  The kind of day that became long about 4:30 when I quickly realized there was no chance of leaving on time and there would be work to do over the weekend. 
I finally came home to my sweet girl and a pretty sweet husband about 6:30.  We went out for a quick bite for dinner and I suggested a pizza place that we don't frequent, but we have been to before.  When we arrived, I knew we made the right choice!  There were a couple of guys singing some hits by people like Jimmy Buffett, the Doobie Brothers, and Neil Diamond; the great thing was that kids had left their tables to go up front and shake tambourines and the like while the guys performed.  Sarah Graves was drawn in immediately and the situation was made even better when we were seated at a table right up front in the action.  One of the guys handed Sarah Graves a shaker and she was joining in!  She danced and made her music in her high chair while we ate and I danced in my chair with her.  I love being a mom because the only opinion I really worry about is hers and she thinks it's great if I dance and act silly. 

One of the singers came over and talked to her.  She got shy when he paid attention to her. 

I think we have found a new weekend hangout.  It's great training for when we take her to the piano bar at Pat O's!

Baby Shot!

Too busy to stop and give a smile this week...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pioneer Woman

I just finished reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - A Love Story by Pioneer Woman (a.k.a. Ree Drummond) and just loved it.  I have mentioned her site here and how much I like her writing.  The book is like a huge extension of her blog posts.  She is witty and real when she writes and I felt like I was right there along with her as she met and fell in love with Marlboro Man.  Sometimes when I read a good book, I am completely wrapped up in the lives of the characters and I am a bit sad when the book ends and I don't get to see how her life goes on.  In this case, I do get to see how her life worked out and how it will go from here - I love that! 
This was a quick read, but very enjoyable.  She also includes a few recipes for meals that she describes making in the book.  Yummy! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day at the Zoo

Saturday was a beautiful day here!  It was our first taste of spring and we headed to the zoo to enjoy it.  This was our first trip to the zoo. 
We saw lots of birds.  Sarah Graves loves to watch birds. 

We saw a momma, baby, and daddy giraffe.

The weather was so gorgeous!

We checked out lots of bird exhibits.

Sarah Graves was a happy rider in her stroller.

This little guy put on a show for us.

What a cuddly cub!

We talked about Aunt Nay being a zeta when we watched the zebras.

This is the daddy panda.  He was getting settled in for a nap. 
Here is the momma panda.  We learned that she will nurse her cub for a year and a half.  Kind of like us!

We took a few rides on the carousel.  This was a huge hit!  She loved when the animal went up and down.  She held on to the pole with both hands and would lean forward to try to make it go.   

She fell asleep in the stroller as we left the zoo and continued on sleeping once we got in the car.  She was pooped from the zoo.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Letter Month Thirteen

Dear Sarah Graves,
Last night I gave you a bath and noticed how where there once were so many rolls on your neck that I needed to wash between each one, you now have a long neck more like mine and Daddy's.  I noticed in that moment how much you are changing from my little baby into my little girl.  It makes me smile to watch you learn to do so much. 
Now that you have just about perfected walking, you have moved on to many new things.  One of those is working on speech.  I'm not sure that you have added lots of actual words, but you have added many new sounds to your repertoire.  Some of them sound more like Chinese.  This makes Daddy laugh and tease Mommy about the fact that when she was little, she would play by herself and speak in made up sounds similar to yours.  You say them with such conviction that I believe they mean something to you.  You are trying to say lots of real words, too.  Daddy and I agree that you have tried to say "Sarah" before.  I know there are big ideas going on and I can't wait to hear you describe them to us.  At this point, I would love to hear you say, "Momma".
Your comprehension of speech is far superior to your verbal speech.  You understand lots!  You can understand simple commands like, "bring me the book" and you know when you are told to stop doing something.  You get your feelings hurt sometimes when I have to tell you that something (insert iPad, telephone, my wallet) is not for you.  Fortunately, I can scoop you up and tickle you and all is forgiven.  Do you think that will work when you're sixteen? 
This age seems to really suit you well.  You are still taking two solid naps a day and you are ready for bed around 7:30 or 8.  You love to nurse first thing in the morning, nurse for a short while in the afternoon, and once more at bedtime.  I know you don't need the milk for the nutrition anymore, but I think we both enjoy the time to be close and relax.  You are eating so many foods!  Your tastes seem to change from day to day, but some of the things that you enjoy are hummus, sweet potatoes, almond butter, bread, yogurt, and almost anything on my plate.  Sometimes you eat so much that we are worried that your tummy is going to burst!  You make the sign for "more" anytime you see food and if I ask you if you are hungry, you will give the sign for "food".  I wish you could sign "all done", but ripping off your bib seems to be working fine for you!  You have even begun to grab for your cup and drink some water from it without any help. 
You have learned to go up and down the stairs on your own.  It is adorable to watch you go up.  You are lightening fast at it, and have surprised me by climbing up there before I even realize what happened.  You stand on the landing waving and looking down as I call for you to see where you are.  You are also funny when it is time to go down because you walk to the edge, get nervous, and run back giggling.  With a little help to turn around, you start coming down on your tummy and you make it pretty quick.  Daddy and I have gates up all over to make sure that you can't get to the stairs without us knowing.  It's a bit of an obstacle course!  You also try to climb up on furniture.  If you can get your leg up on it, you try to climb it.  You are resourceful and will use a pillow or a toy to give yourself a boost.  Oh my, your Dad and I have our work cut out trying to keep you safe!
The thing that you do now that makes me just melt is run to me with your arms out or you grab onto my leg.  It's the sweetest thing to see you coming to me for reassurance, a cuddle, or comforting.  You have also begun to put your arms around my neck and lay your head on my shoulder.  I thought the days when you might lay your head on my shoulder had passed; it's about the sweetest thing ever.  My heart has never been more full.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Special Gifts

Sarah Graves has received several more gifts lately. 
For Valentine's day she got a Hello Kitty doll from Lovey and Pops.  She likes to carry it around at their house. 

Aunt Ardie and Uncle Joe sent her this inchworm that is really cute.  You press down on the middle section and it flattens out and goes forward as it comes back together.  SG usually pushes it along, but it can move on its own. 

This music cube is a favorite right now.  This was a gift from friends, Burt and Carolyn.  It has different instruments on each side and it lights up when you press it.  She loves it, especially, in the car. 

This storybook came from our friends Michael and Melissa and it is so cute.   I have loved Mary Engelbreit's style for a long time and this is a cute book.  It has classic stories like the 3 little pigs and the 3 little bears.  It has nice big pictures that are great for a little one. 

We have a good time enjoying all of the fun things she has! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Giggles with Lovey

Lovey and Sarah Graves have lots of giggles together.  Notice that when I ask her where her nose is, she points to her mouth.  I have no idea how these two body parts have been confused, but she consistently touches her mouth when you ask about her nose!  Just part of her charm.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Sarah Graves has started to try more sounds when she babbles.  She is trying to speak more, but it is still hard to understand.  Here is some of our dinner conversation.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Shot!

I can't believe that I didn't get a picture of her in this dress posted before now.  It is so, so cute!  It has hearts on the fabric and was really cute for Valentine's day.  She looks so grown up sitting in this chair!

Lovey made her these panties with her name and hearts to match her dress.  The sweetest Valentine I know!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Wish from Grancy

Grancy made a video for Sarah Graves to wish her a Happy Valentine's day!  You can watch it here.  It's fun to see all the pictures put together, and amazing to realize that they were all taken in just about a year!

Static Cling

I took this video a couple of weeks ago when our house was full of balloons from SG's party.  She had a great time playing with them!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Monday Sarah Graves went for her 12-month check-up. We were a little later going because Dr. Long recommended that we wait 6 weeks between polio vaccines. So here are her stats: weight is 22.3 pounds (43rd percentile), height is 31.25 inches (90th percentile), and head circumference is 17.75 inches (16th percentile). So she is on the tall side, falls toward the middle on weight, and has a smaller head. She has lost a few ounces since we were at the pediatrician just over a month ago, but Dr. Long said he isn't concerned because she is walking so well and stays so busy.
I asked him about whether we should wean her off the bottle even though she doesn't drink much from the cup. He said no that she should stay on the bottle until 18 months. I thought that they were supposed to be off the bottle by 12 mos., but I guess I was wrong. So, she will continue to get a bottle during the day and Mom is mixing in some milk with the breast milk.
On the other hand, he felt we should get rid of the paci. The concern is that she is becoming attached to it. I think she is attached to it, but she only gets it for sleep and church. Sleep is for her benefit and church is for ours. Aaron and I agreed that it is not a big deal to us if she gets the paci for bed. It doesn't keep her from talking or interacting and I think eventually she will get the idea that pac is are for babies.
I asked about nutrition and was told that I shouldn't worry and just need to feed her good foods. I may try to read more to make sure she gets a good balance of foods.
All in all, she looks really healthy and is developing just great. She is so big that she didn't even cry during the shot! That makes it easier on me!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Blowing Kisses

In the morning we have a ritual where I walk Sarah Graves out to Aaron's car, put her in the car seat, ask her for a kiss, wave bye bye to her, and then I blow kisses to her.  I never want her to think that I snuck off and left her, so I try to be very active about the fact that I am saying goodbye. 
Aaron is out of town for a couple of days so my mom came to the house to look after Sarah Graves and when I was ready to leave, I gave Sarah Graves a kiss, told her bye bye, and then blew her a kiss.  When I blew her the kiss, much to my surprise, she put her hand to her mouth and then threw her arm out!  I fell completely in love with her all over again in that moment.  She doesn't get the kissing sound, but she has the motion.  We were so excited that we kept doing it over and over and she did it some more. 
I have fond memories of being in the car leaving my grandmother's house and she would walk to the curb and blow kisses to us as we drove away.  I would always blow them back, often using two hands to multiply the number of kisses I blew her.  Now I get that same joy blowing kisses with Sarah Graves.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Yep, she is mastering the stairs.  We held her off as long as we could, but she has definitely found the stairs and she knows what to do with them.  This morning I was getting my pump stuff together and she was walking around playing and all of a sudden I realized that I could still hear her, but the noise was from above.  I looked up and sure enough, there she was grinning so big looking down from the upstairs landing.  I quickly realized what a poor multi-tasker I am and just how quick she is.  She can climb up the stairs really quickly and she knows how to come down on her tummy like she has been taught, but it takes her a while to get it straight.  She tends to get to the bottom step and wants to turn around and come down like an adult.  The only probably is that she is just a baby and can't step down like that.  That's why she needs a spotter to remind her to come down the right way. 
She has no fear of heights and has an adventurous spirit.  All fine and good qualities, until you are the mother.  Sorry mom for probably scaring you to death many times over throughout my childhood!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Letter Month Twelve

Dear Sarah Graves,

You might notice that this letter is a little late; I have been busy with your party and all sorts of other things.  Anyway, I'm finally writing it now.  I can't believe that you're already a year old!  I spent the week leading up to your birthday remembering how I felt the same time a year before.  What a difference a year makes!  Who would believe that the little baby in my arms would grow into a big baby who runs, giggles, and has so much joy! 
We celebrated your first Christmas and your first New Year.  You were a little stunned on Christmas morning trying to take in so many new toys, but you have since learned to enjoy many of them.  You like your pal Violet a lot and you really enjoy these sorting bags with fabric foods.  You grab a bag and carry it around with you!  We sometimes find little pieces of "food" scattered around the house.  Although you weren't awake to ring in the new year, you did go to a New Year's Eve party.  You were so adorable and friendly to everyone there.  It was mostly people you know, but you let them hold you and talk to you. Your favorite thing to do that night was to run full force into the small tent that Lovey and Pops gave you for Christmas!  You looked like a little linebacker!
You are now proficient at walking and are definitely thinking about climbing.  You have learned the concept of standing on one thing in order to reach or climb on something else!  Oh my!  You have also discovered how fun it is to dig in drawers or cabinets.  We have most of them closed off with rubberbands, but there are a few that you can get into and you love to grab something and take off running with it.  You are developing a sense of humor because when I try to get something from you that is not yours, you take off giggling!  Such a funny girl!
We had a snow storm that we refer to as Snowapalooza 2011 and oh did we enjoy having several days to be at home with you.  Our street was frozen over with snow and ice making it so that we couldn't leave the house for a few days.  You had a cold at the same time, so it was great to be at home to cuddle with you and try to make you feel better.  You didn't stay feeling bad for long and were up and running pretty quick.  I wish we could have a family lock-in more often. 
During your cold you decided you weren't very interested in eating.  Maybe your throat was sore.  I was worried that you weren't going to stay the good eater, but your appetite has come back mostly.  You don't always want to eat your veggies, but you will usually eat yogurt or banana.  Bread is something that you have tried recently and you really like it!  As soon as you see us with food, you start signing more and food over and over.  Who could deny that?
You really are a miracle to me.  To watch you grow so big, learn to walk, start to talk, and discover so many new things; it's truly a gift.  I treasure all the time that we have together.  I hope that as you grow, you understand and feel just how much I love you and that nothing could ever change that.  You may be a big girl, but no matter how big you are, you will always be the sweet baby they layed on my chest that morning you were born. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday and what a good day I had!  I have received so many wishes from friends and families.  My boss took me out to lunch and the rest of my team joined us.  Then, Sarah Graves and Aaron took me out to dinner and to Yoforia for a treat.  Sarah Graves was in a good mood and we had a great time.  Yoforia was playing some good music and she enjoyed rock'n out!  What a good birthday!

Tomorrow night Jeanne' is going to babysit and Aaron and I are going out for an adult dinner.  We went out for dinner just the two of us for our anniversary and I am looking forward to a relaxing meal just for grownups.  On Sunday Mom is cooking for us and having us over to their house.  What a wonderful birthday weekend!  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A bump and a scare

Since Sarah graves has been mobile, we have had many bumps and falls.  She usually gets over them pretty quickly.  Today she gave quite a scare when 15 minutes into her nap, Lovey heard a loud bump followed by a cry.  She fell in the crib somehow and it knocked the wind out of her and caused quite a bit of bleeding.  There is nothing to tell us what she hurt.  Her lip, mouth, teeth, and nose all appear fine.  After she calmed down, she is fine.  It is quite strange.  What would bleed, but then have no redness or swelling to indicate the source?
Having a toddler is fun and maybe a little scary!  She is so adventurous and has no idea about the dangers in the world.  I'm just glad she isn't seriously injured!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Shoes!

Lovey and Pops went on a trip and brought these shoes back for Sarah Graves.  They are mary jane style keds and they are pink, sparkly shoes.  In case you are wondering, yes, that is glitter on the shoes!  What little girl wouldn't be in love with them?

Baby Shot!

We love our cozy coupe!  Sometimes she tries to exit Dukes of Hazard style, out the window!