Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's Been Awhile, but I Couldn't Let This Go Today

The system. Yes, I'm going to go all libertarian here, and blaspheme almost everything established. What is the longest word in English? Antidisestablishmentarianism? Well I'm gonna lose the second of the double negatives and call myself a disestablishmentarian, even though I've got nothing to do with the Church of England. Their big beef was the involvement of government in worship, just like many other "radical" groups throughout history, including some of my ancestors that came over on the Mayflower, although some of their practices got a little extreme and possibly warped our nation's mindset about most of our natural body functions and other lovely stuff. That aside, they were a strong and courageous group, and if they thought government was big back then, they are rolling over in the graves now.

Government in our schools. I'm all about "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" as Jesus said in three of the four gospels. Our public schools are public, and I'm not getting my panties in a wad about the Ten Commandments being allowed or not. Personally, I'd hope my kids could refrain from killing, coveting, swearing, adultering, and building idols in the cafeteria even without the tablets hung on the wall in the lobby. However, I'm hearing increasingly disturbing anecdotes of discrimination against Christian kids, teachers, and an overall ANTICHRISTian attitude. That's right, I said it. Not to mention the abhorrent legislation that continues to demand better, more impossible results while depriving the well-meaning administrations and teachers of the resources they so desperately need. Not to mention how everyone seems to expect schools to parent our kids without giving them any authority to follow through. Want to know how you make a sociopath?

Healthcare. Insurance companies. Big Pharma. What is their DEAL?

The food we are being poisoned with. Corporate backers behind our presidential candidates and almost everyone in any position of influence. The scary, mandatory farm census that my inlaws were sent for the first time this year. Yikes, USDA. I may be a little apocalyptically-minded, but I'd also like to think I'm clearheaded. I see where this could go. It's like every one of these "national defense" laws that are actually setting up the American people to be an eventual enemy of the government. Yikes is right.

I'm not building a bunker in my basement. We don't even have enough supplies for a decent three days if one of these ever-more-frequent earthquakes or tornadoes were to stop by. We don't own guns, and my hopes of a garden are limited by our tiny, tiny yard. Don't label me crazy, please, although a running joke around here is how valuable my husband's construction and mechanic skills, and my medical training could be after the apocalypse. One of our favorite shows is The Walking Dead. I don't think I'm to the level of Doomsday Preppers by any means. Them people is NUTS.

Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21. Read them. I'm not saying next week, year, or even during my lifetime, but it shouldn't take a TV evangelist to put a little bug in your ear about the coming days.

Mark 13:29 - "Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door."

Crazy Aislynn out. I've got to go see a man about a gas mask ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

There was once a little brat named Flagrant Disregard.

I take issue with the term "creamy." While I do enjoy as much fat as our bovine suppliers can give us, I'm talking about the way the label is used as the antithesis of the term "crunchy," which is typically in reference to the lifestyle formerly known as "granola." However, now that granola is sold at Walmart, the lifestyle's subscribers needed to move further out on the fringe, because being on the fringe is also integral to the whole concept of "crunchiness," just like the batik skirts, Birkenstocks and reusable shopping bags.

If you didn't notice, I don't like the term "crunchy," either.
I also don't like "preggo," "preggers," or their phonetically challenged Italian American friend, "prego." I don't like "jock," "prep," "gearhead," and ESPECIALLY "nonconformist." Have you ever noticed most who call themselves nonconformists wear the same kind of clothes and listen to the same type of music? What's the definition of sterotype again? Just do your thing and shut up about it.

Moving on (or back). My major issue with the term "creamy" is not what it represents; which, in the mommy circles I frequent, typically means formula feeding, stroller pushing, disposable diaper using, sleep training, schedule sticking, non-organic eating, etc. Any one of those things is not evil or cruel or irresponsible. However, when moms proudly and defiantly declare themselves to be "creamy" in the face of the Crunch Crusaders, it is usually to turn a deaf ear/blind eye/cold heart to all the lifestyle and parenting differences. Is it a guilt thing? Because surely you can't sit there and tell me that your research has proven that formula trumps breastfeeding (insert disclaimer for genuine need here), or that BPA is actually good for babies, or that the less physical contact the better for small ones.


Basically, it's the same kind of disbelief, hopelessness, and irritation I feel when I see yet another Facebook profile like that of this young relative of mine:

Books: i hate reedng
Activities: yoo my name is XXXX i love to skateboard listen to muzic and txt thts all u need to no so txt meh ask 4 tha number
Political Views: they r all stupd <--I suppose this is rather accurate

Anyway, can someone please explain to me why why WHY it is ok to basically ignore everything that is widely known to be the best for your child (I'm not including those in true ignorance - we're only covering the self-proclaimed "creamies" here). 

And WHY is it ok to be proud of it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How I Finished the Challenge

The END of the flats and handwashing challenge. 

Thursday evening, I rinsed, rinsed, washed, rinsed, and rinsed. All with my hands. I hung them in the bathroom, using hangers, because we were (once again!) under a tornado warning, plus it was dark outside. I left the fan on for about an hour, but turned it off before we went to bed. Amazingly, all but a few of the thicker flannels I had been using were dry by morning!

Hence my conclusion #1 I may not enjoy using flats all day every day, but I do not mind the handwashing. There's something cathartic about it, with a dose of satisfying mild compulsivity. Yes, even poop diapers.

It was fortuitous that the diapers dried so well overnight, because Friday morning I had to put my hind end into proverbial gear to pack and get the boys out of here by 9:15. We hit the library first to return an Elmo DVD and get some good toddler CD's for the drive, then wound and wove our way through the Catawba Valley to Vinton for E.R.'s funeral. I changed a flat at the funeral home - piece o'cake seeing as it was the first time I'd had to do any changing in a real public place. After a nice, respectful service, during which I felt the consequences of rarely taking the boys to church, at not least without foisting them upon the nursery workers, we headed down to Justin's parents for the rest of the weekend.

Conclusion #2 - Sometimes our convenient way of life is not possible, and camp-style washers come in handy.

Thursday night, a tornado-like storm (weathermen haven't acknowledged it yet, but here's a picture of the damage on the road going to the inlaws...) hit their area. We didn't know anything about it until we were at the funeral, so decided to go on down. This is what we saw (their neighbors)
Needless to say, power was out from Thursday night-Saturday evening. Even though my father in law is prepared, in his near-hoarder way, for many situations, and thankfully had a generator to power lights and fans, we had to handwash everything and take cold showers. Which is where having my camp-style washer along was incredibly providential.

Conclusion Final: Cloth diapering using flats and washing by hand is definitely possible, but the mother would have to be dedicated.

Not really prepared for a sociological discussion here, but let's face the fact that many underprivileged families are not exactly itching for the excitement of squeezing poopy water out of diapers. We have an obesity epidemic in our country, especially among the low-income folk, and it has a lot to do with convenience and under-education. I won't say the l-zy word, because I do know that's not always true. I think it is a valid option, but I don't particularly see the welfare moms around here, who refuse to breastfeed due to social conditioning, getting anywhere near "crunchy" enough to cloth diaper. I genuinely hope that this can be changed!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 4

Day 4! Can't believe it. No revelations for the day, other than I suppose I should watch some of those video tutorials for folding, I just have never learned really well from watching videos. I have to see a step by step diagram or read it or something. Therefore, the folds I've been using (besides the pad fold) have been largely improvised, and any resemblance they bear to named folds only bears witness to how the technique came about in the first place.

My first wash yesterday was a success, and contrary to my fears, the flats seem to have rinsed clean. No ammonia smell so far today! They dried SO fast outside, as it was nice and sunny and breezy yesterday afternoon (today too - we had a park playdate!). My only issue was with the bird that aimed well and pooped straight on one of my nice white diapers :( Maybe this is how I'll convince my hubby we need a cat. A fluffy fluff guard cat.
Rules here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On 60 Years

Yesterday, Justin's great-great uncle E.R. Collier passed away. He had pancreatic cancer that wasn't found until 4 weeks ago, and progressed at an astounding rate (the tumor went from 3.5x3.8cm to 5x5cm in less than 2 weeks). We saw him this last weekend and, even when he was responsive, he was still very yellow from his bile ducts being blocked by the mass. The hospice nurse had stopped by Justin's parents', where E.R. and his wife Joanne have been staying, and told them that, based on his breathing pattern, she did not expect him to make it through the night. Well, he didn't even make it til sundown. It's sad that she's had enough experience to be spot-on.

If E.R. had lived until July 3rd, he and Joanne would have been married 60 years. Sixty years together. They were never able to have children, and she cried herself to sleep many times over that. They tried to adopt once, but the birth mother changed her mind at the last moment, which, needless to say, traumatized them. Sixty years, only the two of them. They lived together, alone, in Roanoke until E.R. was hospitalized 4 weeks ago - when they found the cancer. When their life together began to be torn slowly down the middle. Sixty years together, and now she is alone. She's alone and she has dementia. While yesterday she understood that he had passed away and was no longer in pain, at night she searches for him. This morning she sobbed that she could not find him. She worries about him. Sixty years of caring gently for each other, calling each other "my love." She's concerned for his welfare when really, he's in the best shape he's ever been, in the best hands he could be. He's celebrating his long Earthly life as he begins his endless eternal life in the presence of the Father.

Joanne, locked in the confines of her failing human mind, laid her hand on my arm Sunday and tearily asked "can you help my husband? I'm just so worried about him. I love that man. I don't want anything to happen to him." Oh. Oh my. What can you say?

Her husband is in peace, but she will be anything but peaceful until they meet again. Heartbreaking.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 3

Night #2 = dry sheets! I used two flats - one kite-folded, one pad-folded; and three of my dry flannel wipes as a type of insert. Voila!

Since we fell asleep super early last night, I didn't do the first flats wash until this morning. Sweet hubby drilled a hole in the top of the bucket to make my camp-style washer, which was helpful for the hot wash "cycle," but honestly the rest of it, including the rinsing, was much easier by hand in the bathtub. I did a cold soak for 20 minutes, then added a half scoop of Charlie's to the bucket of our hot, hot tap water (our water heater's broken - it comes out around 125 degrees). I plunged it around for a few minutes, then used the lid to hold the diapers back as I drained into the toilet. I rinsed with cold, drained again, filled the bucket with cold and soaked for 20 more minutes. I then agitated with my hands, drained once more, and filled again before wringing each flat and cover individually. I threw them into a laundry basket, made us some peanut butter and banana sandwiches, wiped the sticky children off, put them down to nap, and then went outside to rig my clothesline on our deck because, despite all the reminders, certain male halves of this relationship have not put up the poles for an official line. As I was hanging, I sniffed a kind of musty/urine scent. I sure hope I rinsed enough :( At least it's our first really sunny day in weeks! We only have one flat of the original collection left before we'll have to either cheat or go naked, so hopefully these dry quickly...

Once again, here are the rules. Proud to report we're following them, and even more proud that it's possible.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day 2

Well, we're still alive on day 2 of this challenge. Sheets were soaked last night, forcing me to accept the fact that my baby is officially a stomach sleeper. Besides the fact he has a penis that is attached to the anterior side of his body, the stomach sleeping means I'm going to have to modify this flat-folding business to provide a little extra padding there.

He also managed to wake up and want to play from 12-2:30a, but that's a story for another therapy session.

Haven't tried to wash these flats yet, but I'm thinking that they're so thin, I could probably spritz them with a spray bottle and be done with it. I've been lucky that his biggest poop happened yesterday morning before the first flat was applied, so the first wash should be a breeze if my hubby ever gets a hole in the top of this 5 gallon bucket!

Sadness of the day: got two new BumbleDipes pockets (they were on clearance - $10 each, how friggin awesome?) in the mail - butter yellow and chocolate (making me hungry now) - and I can't use them til Monday :( Maybe we could work a clause into this experiment since they were on sale...the poverty-stricken could maybe afford these...

My 2 year old didn't understand what I was doing with the blankets...
Inspired by the creativity of the blogger at Milk Bubbles, I decided to upcycle a few pointless receiving blankets. You know, the kind that could maybe swaddle a newborn kitten, but I'll never understand why they market them for humans. They work so much better! I feel like my Carter's brand flats were little more than cheesecloth and have no idea how they were absorbing anything. Guess we'll see how well the blankets wash and dry, though.

Until tomorrow!