Monday, November 29, 2010

Fall-ing Behind

I've been thinking of my blog more frequently over the past couple of days. A few weeks ago, I started to berate myself for falling behind on writing, but after a bit of reflection I came to an enlightened conclusion. Rather than force out a blog because I feel obligated to keep up with some of my bloggy pals, I needed to accept that my writing style springs from ideas that pop up spontaneously then germinate for a little while. I guess I was too busy enjoying my first fall in several years that I was living completely in the present. Add to that some serious life steps and you have a quiet blog. So let's catch up, shall we?

First, Alex has been going through some major baby changes. He has once again traveled several states in order join my awesome in-law family for turkey (yup, he tried some. He liked it so much he got fussy when I decided he'd had enough!) So in 8 months of life he's been from the bottom to the top of the east coast. He's frighteningly mobile now... Pulling up, crawling, cruising. As of a couple days ago, he's been letting go of the couch and standing for about a minute at a time. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was walking (and attempting to Godzilla the Christmas tree) by the 25th. Add to that a pair of cute little bottom teeth, and you have

I've been playing the part of the incredible shrinking woman. Not that I mind, considering I thought I'd still be a heifer for the better part of a couple years. I'm just surprised that I weigh less than I have in the past 3 years. The only real problem this creates is that I need new clothes. To some this would be an exciting revelation. To me, it's not so great. I hate shopping for myself. I hate dressing rooms with their florescent lighting and over solicitous help. I hate the holiday crunch (all of my holiday shopping is done online or comes from my studio.) Add to that the fact that we're on a serious budget, and I'll just keep hiking up my pants, thanks.

Dennis has had some cool goings on as well. Brewmasters premiered to great reviews a couple Sundays ago. He hasn't popped up on screen yet, but I'm sure we'll at least see him in the background at some point. Either way, it's still really cool to have your workplace on TV. He's chef'd a couple more amazing beer dinners and will be presenting Pork-A-Pa-Looza! on December 12th. And yes, you read right... Raison D'Etre and bacon ice cream float. Bacon. Ice Cream. Made with Raison beer. *siiiiggggghhhh* I married a culinary genius! (and yes, I know some of you out there have made bacon ice cream before... but you never gave ME any!!)

So as we start hanging lights, stockings and put up our first big tree, I'll be germinating some of those thoughts for publishing. Til then, enjoy your turkey sandwiches!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thought for Food

Lucky me, I get to go to the Dogfish beer dinners :) I wanted to share this latest one with you as it was an extra special occasion. I won't go into a ton of detail about the food, as it will be hard to be objective. I love my husband's food. I always have, ever since the first time he made me a scratch pizza, dough and all. His food has gotten even better with time and is absolutely flourishing with the creative freedom that DfH has given him. But I digress.

This dinner, the official beginning to beer dinner season, was all about the Ancient Ales. These are some of my very favorite beers in general, not necessarily because they are Dogfish brews. Add to this the fact that Molecular Archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern was speaking and I was in bliss. I'm a geek. Not just a beer geek, but a geek of all trades. I love learning, and much like my mom, would be happy to take a class every semester for the rest of my life. So when the author of Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Beer, Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages was scheduled to speak about his work with Sam on Midas Touch and the other Ancient Ales it was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Mom kept Alex so I could have adult conversation and he could have a normal bed time.

We started the evening with Sam speaking a bit about working with Dr. McGovern and the new Discovery Channel show Brewmasters which will be featuring (maybe not until next season though) the two intrepid brew-storians creating yet another fantastic potable for our drinking pleasure. Just to give you a quick bit of insight on the coolness factor of Dr. McGovern... not only is he considered the "Indiana Jones" of Ancient Ales and does he have a great sense of humor proven by his slide show, but he was so instrumental in the process of procuring the original scrapings used for Chateau Jiahu that he was the one who recieved the GABF medal for it. I was too busy enjoying the short lecture, the amazing food, and the fantastic beer to be bothered with copious notes, but I did take pictures of each course. To all my beer loving friends, most of whom live in Florida, I wish you could have been there. It was another "once in a lifetime" type of events. Just remember that while Delaware may not be in your normal travel plans, there is plenty to eat your heart out over. Like the next several beer dinners!! (and the regular specials... can you say antelope sliders??!!)

Ancient Ales Beer Dinner

Shrimp and Pumpkin Ceviche with Chicha

Gralax served on Local Diced Potatoes (with the bite of Vinegar) with Sah'tea

Forbidden Rice Salad with Braised Pork Belly, Local Veggies, Honey Lime Vinaigrette with Chateau Jiahu (this one was by far my favorite)

Lamb Chop Lentil Stew with Local Root Vegetables with Midas Touch

Chili and Chocolate Truffles served with Fresh Whipped Cream with Theobroma (and he wasn't kidding around about the Chiles)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Attack of the 18 pound peanut

Babies. Babies are sweet and snuggly and warm. You want to cuddle them and love on them. One of your greatest fears going into parenthood is possibly hurting this delicate creature. What you don't worry about is them hurting you.

Approaching 7 months, Alex is a strong little dude. He's been very active since he was in the belly; kicking, stretching, tumbling. In the outside world, he's also proven to be very very strong. He's been able to bear weight on his legs from 2 months, and held his head pretty steady between 4 and 6 weeks. In being this active, his strength has turned out to be a bit of a hazard for poor old mommy. I first felt the brunt of this when rocking him to sleep at about 3 months. In his between dream and waking state, he would pull back his head and let it drop on my face. Or in the middle of my throat. It was like getting hit with a 5 pound duck-pin ball at about 5 miles per hour. That may not sound painful, but at point blank range to the face, it'll make you see stars!

One of the other weapons in his baby arsenal are his fingernails. I make a very concerted effort to keep them trimmed down (which is no easy feat as some of you may know) but despite that, they are paper thin and therefore as sharp as razors. He got me the other day while we were out to dinner right on the end of my nose. I looked at my dad and asked if I was bleeding. I wasn't at the time but apparently he took out a big enough chunk to leave a scab, and I walked around for a week with a raw scraped nose.

Now that he's bigger (18 pounds to be exact) the challenge is really on. He insists upon standing most of the time, which he has neither the balance nor the stamina to do alone. So I "spot" him as he holds onto the couch or pulls himself up on his big playhouse. I walk him around the house with him holding my fingers. The kid wants to skip crawling and go straight to running. While I find his advanced physicality exciting, my 5'9" frame was not built to be stooped over a 2' little man for hours at a time.

Along with this heft and strength comes new mommy injuries. He's still pulling the head plow maneuver when he's falling asleep, but now he's added turning his head back and forth, alternately popping me in the jugular or into my already damaged cheekbone. Add to this his need to be picked up only to push away from me to be put down, and you've got a pretty tired me. He's strong enough that when he does this, it's all I can do to keep him from tumbling from my grasp.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a "poor me" pity party. I'm tough, I can handle him. And I love the fact that he's so healthy and strong. This is more a cautionary tale to those without little peanuts so they understand that while babies are fragile in a certain sense, they can hold their own in the tough category!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Journal Entry, September 27

I woke up this morning and it was still a bit dark. My belly was rumbling a bit, but I couldn't decide if it was worth it to wake up. So I stretched, and rolled and tried to get comfortable again. Around this time, the door opens and in comes mommy. I rub my eyes and stretch again. She picks me up, and lays me right back down somewhere else! This is not a good thing... and I'm going to let her know it. But before I know it, I'm dry and being snuggled and carried away. Next thing I know, I'm on my back again. As I open my mouth to protest... ah, milk! I start to think of all the great things I'm going to do today: grab the kitty, tackle the puppy, fuss a bit... um... hard to think... hard to stay. awake.

I wake up again and see my friends above my head. Polar bear, lion, whale, monkey, turtle... They aren't singing to me this time, but I'm happy to see them nonetheless. I'm not terribly hungry, but I could use a snack. I think my toes will tide me over. I grab them and nibble, rolling over in the process. I practice crawling a bit, roll over a few times, talk to my feet and my hands. Mommy comes in and says what she does every morning with a big smile. I don't understand it, but it sounds like "wakey wakey eggs and bakey." I get changed into different clothes, which I don't mind except for putting my right arm in my sleeve. For some reason this makes me mad every single morning. I hear birdies behind me and when I twist around to see them, mommy makes me lay flat again. I don't get to do ANYTHING fun.

It's later in the day and I'm standing up in my blue room. The one that has fishes on it, toys in it, and walls short enough for me to hold onto when I stand. I'm getting good at moving my hands around the edges and scooting my feet so I can follow the kitty or the puppy when they walk through the big room. Just when things are comfortable, I see that mommy is walking away from me. HOW DARE SHE! COME BACK! COOOOME BAAAACK! Fine, we'll get really really loud. GET BACK HERE WOMAN!!! I'm two feet tall and stuck in a stretchy blue box and she thinks she can leave me and walk a few feet away??!! I'M SO ANGRY!! I'M SO... uh oh, losing my grip... one hand down... can't... hold... on... aaaahhhhh! NOW I'M REALLY REALLY MAD! I'M ON MY BACK! Okay, so I'm not hurt, but I'm VERY VERY ANGRY! When she comes in and picks me up, I do realize that not much time has passed, but when it was happening, it seemed like hours and hours. Now that I got what I wanted and she's holding me, I realize I can't let her off the hook so easily... so I fuss a bit more. Then I calm down and just when she thinks all is well with the world, I slowly reach up and grab the back of her hair and pull as hard as I possibly can. I loooove the funny faces she makes when I do this!

Later in the day, its time to take a drive through the neighborhood. Mom has to walk, but I have the best seat in the house. I get to roll along in front, I can still reach my feet, and if anyone passes by they always pay lots of attention to me. I look at the trees, the bugs, the birds, and sometimes I get to see the water. When we get back home, if the puppy hasn't gone with us, he is so happy to see me! I talk to him through the glass door and tell him that I missed him too, that I think its funny when he bounces around like that, and that I'd really like to chew on his tail if he wouldn't mind. Mom won't let me though.

Towards the end of the day, I get to play on the big spare bed. I've got a bunch of toys there, and it's fun to practice my crawling. When my hands and knees betray me it doesn't hurt my belly to fall. So I try over and over again. Mom hangs out with me, and when I'm done practicing she lets me crawl on her and pull myself up. Then we make faces at each other in the mirror and if I'm in a good mood, she tickles me and growls at me and chews on my belly and I giggle and giggle and giggle. When I laugh, she laughs too which makes me laugh even more.

Finally I'm getting sleepy, so mommy uses the nice smelling lotion and puts me in my jammies. I act like I don't like this... I push her hands away while she tries to snap me up, but I think my feet taste better when they look like puppies or monkeys or bears. We play on the floor with daddy (who is the BEST!) until I get sleepy. Then I get to eat a gigantic bottle and snuggle with mommy in the rocker until I fall asleep. I love this time of day most times. Mommy takes me and puts me in my bed so I can have another adventure tomorrow.

Maybe then the puppy will finally let me chew on his tail.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Give and Take

Today is Alex's 6 month birthday. It's been an interesting journey on the other side of "you don't really get it 'til you've been there." Well, I'm here. It's amazing the little things that you notice suddenly when you have a baby. There's an entire microcosm that only a parent understands. These little bits that come and go in the blink of an eye.

Because of all the parents that have told me that the first year goes remarkably quick, I've truly tried not to take anything for granted. I make a very conscious effort not to wish a moment away just because it is difficult. That in and of itself is a difficult thing. Your mind cannot help but go straight to "when we get past 'this' phase or 'that' one" when you hit the difficult spots in the road. To those readers who are not parents and don't understand the heart wrenching work of parenting, this will be a very abstract statement. To those who have been there, or are going through it as I write, you will nod your head with the knowledge that it's so so easy to wish away the rough spots. But you always have to remember that with every bad moment you wish would rush past, there is a beautiful simple one that goes with it.

Dennis and I recently realized that it was time for Alex to go from his bassinet to his crib. It was incredibly bittersweet for this step to take place. On the one hand, I needed to sleep better. With Alex in his bassinet next to the bed, I would wake up with every little movement. But on the other hand, this was a milestone that was kind of hard to swallow. My baby was going to sleep in his own room. He didn't need me to be right next to him at all times. It was a subtle reminder that time does in fact speed by.

As of a week or so ago, he also learned to sit up by himself. He's becoming more independent by tiny (baby) steps. He'll be ready to crawl very very soon. Along with this is a fiercely pushy baby. Suddenly, there's a little ego-centric temper to deal with. If he doesn't want to be held a certain way, he arches his back so hard it's tough to keep him from flipping out of my arms. If he doesn't want to fall asleep, despite all the signs of a very tired baby, he'll grab any piece of skin on my body he can reach and dig his nails in. He pulls hair, slaps my arms, scratches and gnaws. He doesn't understand boundaries or "ouch!" He gets bored very very easily. Yet I would not wish any of this away. For every difficult trait, he has an endearing one, or is learning something completely invaluable. Not just sitting up or sleeping solo, he is starting to connect words with objects. He knows his name, he knows the kitties and Roscoe by word. He's starting to look at the toys he has when I call them by name. He giggles with absolute abandon at being tickled, surprised or when his daddy plays peek a boo over the back of the couch with him.

Soon he will be crawling away from me. He'll have teeth and opinions and even more personality than he does now. I look forward to all of these things, but I don't wish the future here any more than I want the past back. For every little thing you wish away, you give away something precious.

From the beginning to now:

Friday, September 3, 2010

(clothes)Line of Credit

Being the savvy financier that I am (read: cheeeeeap) I'm a fan of finding ways to cut back costs. A recent electric bill caused both my husband and I to consider keeping defibrillator paddles near the desk where we open our bills. It was outrageous! I immediately started to rack my brain for ways to save some dough on our electricity. We're pretty good about turning lights off and have started to convert high usage lights to high efficiency bulbs. That being said, drastic measures were in order. I realized that while this summer has been pretty brutal, my pansy ass had gotten way to comfortable using the AC while living in Florida. Growing up, we had a nice house with lots of windows, and no air conditioning. Where there nights that were sweaty and somewhat uncomfortable? Sure. But it was nothing that a fan and liberal application of cornstarch before bed couldn't cure. So I resolved myself to not use the AC anymore unless the temperature was going to be higher than 95 for at least 4 days in a row according to the forecast. And this was more for Alex's sake, as he gets pretty cranky in high heat. Anything less than 4 days and we could either sweat it out or go to locations that have the AC on. The trade off is that all the fans stay on most of the time to keep the air circulating. I have this crazy feeling that the energy used on fans may be a bit smaller that running AC to cool an entire house with an attic and basement crawl space. Luckily, the two rooms we use the most; the living room and the master bedroom, have nice new Hunter Douglas fans. They run quiet and spin fast enough to lift a helicopter off the pad.

The other rooms have fans as well, but those two are the Cadillac fans of the house.

Another way to save money and cool off is to take a dip in our fancy new 6' pool. That would be 6' across, not deep. It folds up very nicely and you don't have to fill it with air, so it's a winner. It's just deep enough for Alex to stand up in to his belly, so I get pretty cool when I sit in it with him. For days when we don't get a chance to go to my mom's pool, it's a nice treat. You just have to remember to fill it up with the hose in the morning so its not absolutely frigid by the time we get in.

Alex loves to get in and splash his hands on the surface of the water or lean back on mom and kick his legs. His favorite is to be held up in the standing position so he can jump up and down.

Another dramatic cut into the electric bill cost less than $10 to get set up. The last time we went to the grocery store I purchased fresh line and 100 wooden clothes pins. Don't get me wrong, I love my new washer and dryer. They are energy star appliances but with as much laundry as I do, it just made sense to hang the laundry out for free on those hot uncomfortable days. I strung the new line, converted a pillowcase into a pin bag and headed out with my basket full of water heavy clothes. I used 2 pins on each item and hung one line at a time the first time, but then I started to remember watching my old babysitter, Charmaine David hanging clothes. With economy of motion, she would grab a handful of pins and used 3 pins to every 2 pieces and daisy chain a third of the way down the back line. Then the middle line, and the front. There is something cathartic about hanging clothes out to dry and being good at it. It's a basic basic thing that just feels good. My clothes smelled great, my towels and sheets were a bit "summer line dried" crunchy and Alex's cloth diapers got a little sunbleaching action. I'm getting good at pulling the items back off and bagging the pins quickly. My bed smells like summer. So what started as a means to save some money has put a silly little spring in my step by repeating the basic natural process of many many laundresses before me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sick Sense

I've had the sinus plague for the past week + or so. That's the sick. I've been taking Alex's naptimes to relax and drink tea or feed the cold rather than writing. That's the sense. I'll start writing again very soon, I have ideas bouncing in my skull begging to come out. 'Til then, I'll be using the next few naps to clean my scary scary tissue laden house....

Friday, August 20, 2010

2010: A Cookie Odd-essy

The chocolate chip cookie. So so simple, yet so complex. It has deep seeded meaning for a lot of us as it is typical cookie of our youth. My mom makes awesome chocolate chippers... she has a deceptively simple recipe with one minor modification that makes them really good, but that's her secret to tell. A couple weeks back, my friend and fellow blogger Stephanie published a "before 30 list." My friend Nas is doing the same and it is with some small regret that it's too late for me to do the exact same. I figure that I have 6 years until 40 and was always a bit of a late bloomer, so I'll get to my version eventually. Back to topic, one of Stephanie's desires was to find an excellent chocolate chip recipe. I thought "oooo, fun!" and decided to play along. The weekend we were both going to try recipes, however, I got busy, then ended up making scratch brownies and she (no shame here, I too am an instant gratification junky) got some premade dough. I can't be trusted w/ premade dough, as none would end up in the oven and all would end up in my mouth raw.

So weekend one was a loss. With guests in and out all week and weekend, no cookies were to be made the next weekend either. Then Alex had to get a Pentacil shot which makes him fussy and sore, so there was a couple more days shot. In the meantime, I researched recipes. It was a pretty consistent recipe between all sources, including my professional pastry books. It was as if they were all trying to tell me that changing a classic like chocolate chips cookies would be akin to putting a squiggly mustache on the Mona Lisa. I thumb my nose at you all, pastry gods, I shall change it despite you!

Yesterday.... yesterday was awesome. Alex was an angel all day, sweet, snuggly and ready to play on his own some. The Sunbeam mixer was a callin,' so I dragged his jumparoo into the kitchen and pulled out ingredients.

I was short on one thing, made some decisions on modifications on others, and crossed my fingers. I knew there was no way I was going to make perfect cookies on the first try. I was soooo wrong. It was multiple things working against you to turn out the best possible outcome. Don't you love when that happens?? I think it started with the chips. I used a bag of Ghiradelli bitter sweet chips instead of the usual semi-sweet.

I like a bit of bite to my chocolate. And I realllly like Ghiradelli, can you tell? The chips themselves were shorter but had a fatter footprint. Of course I ate a couple before I even started, and boy were they good! It took a lot of will power not to forget the cookies and pop them like candy instead. I then dragged out all my ingredients and tools. My mom taught me that long ago, but it wasn't until recently that I put this baking "rule" to good use. I had everything but 2 tablespoons of butter. Just 2 tablespoons short! Argh. So I thought... WWDD? Yup, time to channel Dennis, my brilliant chef husband. While he may not enjoy baking like I do, I have picked up little bits and pieces from him in the kitchen. Now remember, baking is science. It's not like cooking where you have a lot of room to experiment. But I am professor Bunsen and will risk the soot on my face in order to get what I want.

So, knowing that olive oil has a higher burn temp than butter and knowing that the first thing in a cookie to burn is the sugar and butter, I said "screw it" and sub'd in 2 TBS of EVO for the missing butter. Then I had some decisions to make. I don't care for my cookies to be too too sweet. One of the ways to remedy this is to change sugars. Hmmm... do I use all brown sugar? Do I keep the recipe as is? I decided that since I was using bitter sweet chocolate, that a bit of sweetness in the cookie was okay, so I rebalanced the sugar from half and half to mostly brown, but I did keep some white in there to counteract the bitterness. Last but not least is my desire for all happy-place foods to have an element of sweet and salty. The sweet was already there, so in addition to the normally called for kosher salt, I used salted sweet cream butter. I'm a butter junky, so I recommend Land O' Lakes rather than store brand. Please, for the love of Roscoe don't use margarine. Best case scenario would be to use good Irish butter, but having neither the place to purchase nor the extra pennies to spare, name brand butter was good enough.

Here comes my lesson of the day, as I always learn something new when I bake. If your baking sheet looks like crap and you wouldn't put dough directly on it, DON'T USE IT. Using parchment or foil over a crappy pan will still yield you burnt cookies. Thank goodness I was making monster mutant size cookies, so I only lost 5 to this lesson, but they were the first 5 to come out of the oven. I shed one salty tear over their trashy grave and moved on.

The final product was fantastic. I think the EVO substitution was the trick, as they were soft and chewy at the same time. I will tell you that it is really easy to over bake them as they don't brown as darkly as the full butter version will, so tread carefully. So here is my modif-antastic recipe:


2 large bowls (that fit your stand mixer if you have one)
Stand mixer or hand mixer (if you have to spoon blend due to lack of equipment, just make sure you mix and mix and mix and mix with a wooden spoon. Get your hands into it if necessary!)
1 rubber scraper
1 teacup or small bowl to crack eggs on
Clean baking sheets in good repair
Roll of Parchment paper or EVO cooking spray (not regular Pam, use the EVO kind to prevent scorched bottoms)
2 tablespoons (the kind you eat with)
Measuring cups and spoons


3 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp kosher salt (better than table salt!!)
1 stick and and 6 TBS good salted butter (don't be cheap!)
2 cups light brown sugar
.5 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 bag Ghiradelli BITTER SWEET chips (don't compromise, they just won't be the same)


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
Beat together butter, EVO and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg with a fork in a small bowl and add 1 3/4 tablespoons of it plus 2 remaining whole eggs to butter mixture, beating with mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until just blended, then stir in chips.

Scoop 1/4 cup batter (or more for giant cookies)

for each, arranging mounds 2 inches apart, on 2 baking sheets. Form remaining cookies on additional sheets of parchment.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, for 10 minutes to start, then check for color every 2 minutes thereafter. You know they are done when they are golden, not beige and not brown. Certainly not black! Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue making cookies in same manner using cooled baking sheets.

I hope you enjoy this, and if you try it and have feedback, let me know!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Man of the Cloth

About 4 months into my pregnancy, I started surfing the web with insane fervor. I wanted to know ALL my baby options. I'm a planner by nature (much to Dennis' chagrin, he thinks I have mental flow charts for everything) and being on the road all day every day I wasn't in the mood for actual store front shopping. So off I went down the information highway. The first thing I did was Google "L & D Checklist." This gave me my suitcase packing list for the hospital, which contrary to popular belief, I did NOT use until my 8th month. Okay, it took some restraint to wait, but wait I did. Once that checklist went into the baby file (yes, there was an actual manilla file folder) I started surfing actual baby things. I looked at carseat/stroller combos. I looked at swings. I looked at pumps. I looked at first toys. You start to get the picture... and to keep track of all this browsing, I decided to start my registry.

It's a weird thing registering for things in your thirties. I registered for my first wedding at the tender age of 20 or so, but we had nothing and felt no compunction in relying on the generosity of others. But when Dennis and I got married, we were over thirty, had each been living on our own for many years, then together for several more. We didn't want to register for anything for this reason, along with the fact that we were "eloping" and didn't feel it was fair to ask for wedding gifts from people we weren't inviting to our nuptials. So when it came time to register for baby things I felt weird. Like I was begging. I know it's a traditional thing to do, but I've never been one for blindly following baseless rituals. So at first, I created one just to keep track of what I needed to get. As the list grew, so did the requests from family for info on "what to get." So I sent a link around for those who wanted to get items. I got over it because I figured it was for the baby, not for me.

I needed to figure out where I was going to register, which was also a bit of a chore. We were will still living in Florida, just north of an overhyped, over-money'd, over-plasticized area called Aventura. Aventura had my most and least favorite places to baby shop right up the road from each other. I loved the Target as it was next to my favorite Whole Foods of all time (shout out to Vanessa and Anthony!!) and a Petsmart. The Target was well stocked and the staff was pretty friendly as far as superstores go. The Babies R Us down the road was my personal hell. For some reason, anytime Dennis and I went into that store, we would get the heebies. Big time. Later in the pregnancy I had to go out to another Babies R Us and realized they aren't all that way, but the Aventura store left a deep dent in my Psyche. Along with these experiences was the practical reasoning that I wanted to register somewhere more generalized. That way if I got doubles of things or gift cards, I wasn't locked into specific baby items. So Target it was. Once the decision was made, I was a woman on fire. I wanted to know everything about any baby item ever made. I looked up recalls, reviews, and related items (gotta love built in suggestive sells on these websites.) Along the way, I started digging through the diaper wars. Much like Coke v Pepsi, there was Pampers v Huggies et al. I looked at prices and reviews trying to decipher which would be the better buy, when low and behold... here comes a "related item." It was a cloth diaper! But not your mama's cloth diaper. These came in colors, didn't need pins, and were cute. Yup. Cute diapers. It makes sense as diapers invariably stick out of the bottoms of onesies. Cute is not enough to sell this mama though. The first diaper brand I came across was BumGenius. I liked the idea and dug into the reviews. The vast majority of purchasers liked the cloth diapers in general, but I saw a lot of references to the velcro tape fastening mechanism. Seems that washing fleece diapers with velcro is not without its issues. The company provided "backing" tape to attach to the exposed hook side of the velcro, but who needs an extra step when trying to wash a giant pile of ammonia soaked nappies? Many reviewers made reference to FuzziBunz diapers. FuzziBunz come with snaps rather than velcro, eliminating the issue.

So off I sped to the FuzziBunz website. They had tons of information on how cloth diapers of any kind can keep millions of TONS of slow decomposing waste out of the earth. If that wasn't motivation enough to do extra laundry and take the leap, the fact that one set of diapers costs approximately $300 and disposables cost about $2500 over the baby's diaper wearing years. We have already established in previous blogs that I'm a serious cheapskate. So it was a no-brainer. I also had a friend or two that had experience with the brand and had nothing but glowing reviews.

Once the brand decision was made, I had to figure out whether I wanted the "One Size" diapers which were a little more bulky when the baby is under 9 months and required adjustments to the leg elastic, or if I wanted the "Perfect Size" diapers which came in different sizes for a more trim fit. So it was my sense of stinge v my sense of style. Crap. In the end, the decision was made for me by funds. Or lack there of. You see, when you move, even if the company is awesome enough to help with the costs, it's still really really expensive. Especially if you're moving halfway up the east coast. So while disposables are more expensive in the long run, when you are counting every penny and doing the check to check thing for a while they tend to be the only choice.

Now that we have settled in, the size choice is easy. We are finally getting diapers a bit at a time. Two to start just to make sure we are happy with them, then we'll take the plunge and get two dozen as they are cheaper that way. Alex is now at the 15 lb point, so we're getting the Medium sized Perfect Fit diapers. They are supposed to last him from now until he hits 30 or so lbs. At that point we'll be trying to potty train, so we ended up with the less bulky diaper without having to buy two sizes. I've been using the two we have as his night time diapers, cuz it was go big or go home time. If they were awful overnight I don't know if I'd still be sold, but they've been great! I wash them every day so I'm looking forward to having two days worth. Alex doesn't seem mind the change. When I change him before his 6:00 am feeding the quiet nature of the snaps opposed to the sound of disposable tape ripping seems to allow him to stay in sleepy mode which is great for getting him back down for an hour or two after his feeding.

Best of all: he looks really cute in them :)