Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Origins of Barbie

Did you know that Barbie was modeled after a German sex toy named Lilli? I love HowStuffWorks. They teach me so much.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I took a leap

I decided to do it. Fearful that I may do the same thing as Kayla (that is, research and then get so overwhelmed about cost and options that I don't actually use them), I made my first real cloth diaper purchase. Including some washable hemp nursing pads (which were about $20), I spent $123 at cottonbabies.com, with free shipping.

Here's what I decided on:

12 Indian pre-folds ($18)
1 Thirsties cover ($11)
2 Snappis to use with pre-folds and cover ($6)
3 Bumgenius One-sizes ($53, including 6 free inserts)
5 Hemp diaper doublers to use in gDiapers ($15)

I shipped them to Tim's parent's house, which is necessary to reduce luggage on the way home but makes me sad because I want to see them when they arrive.

So, I'm going to vote we're all set for now and I can stop researching. We'll see what happens with these and how we like it, and then we'll buy more as necessary. Once, you know, the baby is actually here... then I'll review our choices for everyone (and sorry to those that read our blog and don't care about cloth diapers... but it seems these posts get the most interest!)
Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

One of my fears legitimized

You know those metal grates on city streets? I'm terrified of them. I go out of my way to avoid them. In New York, it was hard because there were people pushing me so I had to walk on them and I was terrified. They have them on campus at BYU too because of the tunneling system, and again, I would never set foot on them. Tim thinks it's funny and always tries to make me step on them when we walk down the street. He makes fun of me for my irrational fears and OCD tendencies (I also don't step on cracks, but that probably really is laughable). .

Well ha! I'm not crazy! It's a legitimate fear. Apparently, 34 students fell through one last week in Brooklyn. And were SERIOUSLY INJURED. If people can be seriously injured from stepping on a metal grates, then I'm allowed to fear them and avoid them at all possible costs. And you, my friend, are no longer allowed to mock me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cloth diapering

Why are there so many options!? We've planned on cloth diapering since before we got pregnant (ok, mostly me, but I like to include Tim) and now that it's come down to it, it's time to make some decisions I suppose. I've been looking at reviews online and it seems that everyone thinks their cloth diapering method is the greatest thing ever so I'm at a loss. I've been looking all over the internet on a regular basis, trying to find the good deals on the all-in-ones or pocket diapers because I know that it will save us money in the long-run, but shelling out $20 for a Happy Heiny is painful. 

My mother-in-law is going to make a handful of pocket diapers for us, from a pattern that Tim's cousin uses. I also wanted to try pre-folds with covers as well because they are more economical and it's nice because you don't need as many covers as diapers. I'm not entirely convinced it's truly more economical becuase covers run in the $12-$15 dollar range and the actual diapers is a few bucks too so about equals the $16-$20 you would pay for one of the nifty all-in-ones. Maybe I should just experiment with a few until I decide on a kind I like. I think it really depends on the parent's needs as well as the baby's shape, I've read that some people have leaks with certain diapers while some love them so I'm guessing it just depends. I bought a starter gDiaper kit from Craig's List last week for 10 bucks, it comes with two diaper covers with disposable (but compostable or flushable) inserts. If you use the inserts consistently it comes out to being more expensive than disposables (still better for the environment/baby's bum), but you can also use cloth diaper inserts in the same diapers. I read somewhere that you don't want to put microterry next to your baby's bum though, but rather underneath another fabric. I can't find anything else to substantiate that. Is it bad for their skin or does it cause a wicking problem? It's probably better to go with organic cotton or hemp or bamboo over microterry anyways, since they are natural fabrics and absorbent as well. I've also  been reading that the synthetic material in the all-in-ones like Bumgenius or Happy Heinys is harder to wash and wears down quicker than a separate diaper/cover system like an organic cotton diaper and a wool cover, for example. But then there's the caring for the wool and how expensive they are and that kind of turns me off to that idea. 

What about the one-size diapers? Can a diaper truly fit 5-35 lbs? Really? 

Conclusions: None. I want to maybe buy a dozen pre-folds ($20 or so) and then a few covers ($40) and try those. I think I'll buy a Bumgenius or two ($16 each), I want to try these SposoEasy diapers($18 each) becuase they are 100% cotton and have a nifty liner that isn't connected all around so it washes more thoroughly and dries quicker. gDiapers with the disposable inserts seem like a good idea when we're in a place where changing will be trickier, though I hear that changing a cloth diaper isn't as tricky as it seems. I'll probably stick with that one kit for now and see how we like them. And we need to invest in a good waterproof bag. 

Cloth diapering-- It's a lot to think about, and I've been doing quite a bit of baby thinking lately. I think this will be pretty much our only "big" purchase for our baby (besides the $35 carseat we found on Craig's List practically brand-new or the $12 fabric I bought for the mei tai Melissa is making me... a shout-out to Lauren for passing down all of her baby clothes and things, thanks!), so maybe we should splurge and go for the convenience of the fancy all-in-ones but I want to do what's best for my baby's bum and the environment at the same time. Also, being in school and working, I want something that's not too complicated (like stripping fleece diapers or lanolizing wool covers). 

If you're interested in cloth diapering or want to know what the heck I'm talking about, Melissa referred me to this wonderful website that not only sells them but teaches you exactly what you are buying and how to use it. It's great, especially for people like me who have no idea. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I cook....

Last night's dinner was spectacular. Homemade black bean veggie burgers topped with lime mayo and corn on the cob. I also used the leftover ingredients from the burgers to make a killer homemade salsa. Check out the recipes at ElleCuisiniers.


(our kitchen=our bedroom. Ignore unmade bed in background.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I love living here

I went to a WIC appointment last week. I love how much WIC supports breastfeeding, in spite of most of their money going to formula. The two ladies that did my certification were black, and one was from Sierra Leone. They both lectured me on breastfeeding, and the lady from Sierra Leone told me she breastfed her babies for two years each, and they are so healthy, no allergies, and they are SMART kids. She was a riot, and both women were so kind to me and I felt right at home despite feeling a little uncomfortable when I first arrived being the only white person around besides volunteers. And then they gave me this, I cherish it, and I will keep it forever (maybe pass it on a friend):

I'm not sure why it makes me so happy. Maybe because I secretly wish I were African-American. Or maybe because the little black babies in the book are so much cuter than white babies. Either way. I like it.

The other awesome thing: I get to see these two hilarious women in a few weeks when the seminar students go do a service project at this place (called Mary's Center). It will be, for me at least, a little reciprocity.

Friday, May 15, 2009

For work last week, I went to lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center on sex trafficking. The panelists included Ambassador Swanee Hunt, who is one of the best speakers I've ever listened to on women's issues. The discussion was focused on eliminating demand, particularly focusing on punishing the "johns" who visit prostitutes rather than punishing the prostitutes themselves. A few very interesting points were brought up that have stuck with me:

1. Our boys in our society are acculturated to judge a woman by how she looks. This can begin at home a very young age when they hear their father criticize their mother or even their mother or sisters criticize themselves based on their appearance. It's a simple statement that we think is harmless, but then these boys grow into men who value women for their appearance and their bodies, thus objectifying them as objects which they can buy and sell without treating as human beings.

2. Prostitution is rarely about sex; it's about power and violence. Men who visit prostitutes usually have steady sex partners as well; they use a prostitute because they do not have to treat her as a human being but rather as an object that can be abused and used to live out the man's most salacious fantasies. Because the men are paying, they feel like they can do whatever they want to them without repercussions.

3. The average age to begin prostitution work in the US is 12. A good percentage of these girls were sexually abused, many from foster homes, and quite a few are runaways. Prostitution is choice of desperation, not a meaningful choice a woman makes as a career choice, contrary to popular belief. Congresswoman Smith read for us a case of a 12-year-old girl who was solicited for sex by a 48-yr-old man. Since money was exchanged ($40), the girl was automatically the perpetrator while the man was let off the hook. Once money enters the equation, the dynamics of criminal investigation and prosecution change. If it had been in any other circumstance, if the man was simply having sex with the girl, be it consensual or not, would be statutory rape and he would be going to jail. Instead, the 12-yr-old prostituted girl was arrested. There is absolutely no deterrent for johns in the United States. In most states, it is not a criminal act to solicit sex but it is a criminal act to the girl or woman offering it.

4. Entertainment, especially the Hip Hop/rap industry, could have a huge impact on how women are viewed in our society. They need to make it clear that a "pimp" is not a hero, but a violent exploiter.

5. Porn on the internet. Free speech vs. damaging to society. When 9-yr-olds can visit internet sites easily and men can access salacious material without impunity, the attitudes about women being objects prevails. Should we restrict access to porn? Make it illegal? When are we overstepping the boundaries of free speech?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just so you all know, it's been renamed "Caitlin is the Best of all the Mothers Day."

And she hasn't even squeezed the guy out yet.

But already I know that she'll be the best mom ever. I've never met anyone that was so concerned about the well-being of her children, even before she had any idea that she was pregnant. She's been reading books about child birth, breast feeding, child care and green parenting for as long as I can remember and probably quite a bit before that. I've also never met anyone who is just so passionate about being a mother. She gets criticized sometimes for working towards a career and how that will stop her from being a good mother. I have no doubt that no matter how it all works out, she will always have her family as her first priority and will never put anything ahead of them. I think our children deserve a mother that provides an example of doing what she feels is right no matter what anyone else says, and Caitlin is that type of mother. My mission president said that the number one key to finding a good wife was finding the person who would be the best partner for me in raising a family, and, oh so luckily, I've found just the person.

Love you Cait.

P.S. I also really love my mom, but I e-mailed her privately. This just isn't the place.

Happy Future Mother's Day to me!

For Mother's Day I got pancakes in bed, a delicious homemade dinner (provided by the ward, but who's keeping track?), and multiple orgasms. Who needs flowers?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Cait's already posted a bit on this, but since I'm the husband I have the final word.

After doing a fair amount of research I've drawn some conclusions. There are fairly substantial arguments on both sides, backed up by a fair amount of research (although both sides are a little lacking in this area). Blood loss and infection on one side and urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases on the other among many other arguments.

After reading all of this information, I remained unconvinced about which side is better. I am confident however in having a no cosmetic surgery policy on my children unless there are strong reasons for doing it and I don't see enough information on the pro-circumcision side to convince me that such an operation is necessary. So, as of now, I think we'll not go with the circumcision.

Now I just have to convince Cait.

PS I don't make the decisions in our family, we both do and Cait needs no convincing. I just thought those two sentences were funny.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book review

Here's some books I've read. I'll try to keep it short:

Andrew Sullivan is a blogger that I read pretty frequently. I like him because he's smart, pragmatic and independent. He has some fixed political views, but never follows a party line and is really open to new information. In this book he talks about how we've lost sight of what conservatism really means. He argues that to be conservative means to recognize that in order for the US to be in such a good position, we've obviously done a lot of things right, and so change shouldn't be an end but a carefully used means. Being conservative does not mean believing that we know everything, but that the United States has thrived by calling in the free people of the world, and working hard and together to find the best solutions to the problems we face, basing our decisions on all the past decisions that the United States have made. This is opposed to being Liberal, which means coming into a situation with fixed ideas, a fixed end and pushing hard to move towards that end. Being a constitionalist or a theocrat is just as liberal as being a green party activist or anarchist. It really struck a chord with me, that even as I've drifted away from the Republican party, I've remained very conservative (or maybe there's some reverse causality there). I'm very satisfied with where my life is right now, so obviously I've made some good choices. But I also refuse to admit that I've got everything figured out, so I'm still trying to make changes while still holding to the things that got me here. Anyways, a good book.

Here's a prime example and another book I really liked. Sigmund Freud came into his practice with some fixed ideas about how the world worked, some really good ideas. But he also thought he was a lot better than everyone else, and that came through in this book, even though the author tried to be unbiased. He refused to question or doubt his ideas after he reached adulthood, and even though he doggedly pursued those ideas, he died a very unhappy man. C.S. Lewis started out with the same ideas, that God didn't exist, that we were all just slaves to our psyche, but through honest inquisition and a lack of an absolute belief that he knew everything, he found happiness, even in the face of trials and a tough life. That's how I want to be. Another worth reading.

Currently reading: 1776, David McCullough because I'm in DC and this is supposed to be a good DC book and Clive Cussler's Flood Tide, because some people have told me the Dirk Pitt books are worth reading, so I picked one up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The places we've been

Here's some places we've been. Some are pretty old. Let us know if you can't see the pictures.

Mosque Trip:
Cait's National Georgraphic Pose

The Khadeeja Mosque where we went with my Arabic Class

Communtiy Garden:
Breakfast before gardening at the community garden

I'm hungry and well bundled

Cait is close to the camera. She'll be mad I posted this picture.

Cait carrying sticks

Playing with dirt

Maggie and Gordon came with us to the Penny Royale Cafe for a 3 hour game of Super scrabble with Cait and I. Aren't they a cute couple? Disclaimer: It wasn't a date for them. I'm just saying.

New York:
 This is us outside the temple.

One of the bridges. I don't remember which.

The biggest Buddha in New York

Contemplating Central Park

Some foreign food. Morracan maybe?

Cheese cake at Carnegie Deli. We split one piece 3 ways. Living on a budget.

The Museum of Natural History. We saw a bunch of stuff. This is a dinosaur.
Lunch in China town with some other interns.

Cait eating her fortune cookie in China Town. Her's said: It's a nice day. Mine said: You could find great success in the field of medical research. Classic.

George Washington was a lot taller and less human like than I thought. It was a different time.