Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brand Name vs. Generic

Now, I am usually a girl who likes to find a deal.  I mean, who doesn't, really?  I have learned that store brand of anything can be just as good, if not better than the brand name product.  Not always but a good portion of the time.  And the pennies start to add up fast.  So, while I was looking through the baby section for some random item I was missing or needing in a pinch at Wa.l Ma.rt I stumbled onto a diaper pail liner that was said to fit my Diaper Genie Elite II.  It was also a good $2.00 cheaper.  I wondered what it would be like.  It claimed that it would hold more diapers than the brand's refill, etc, etc.  My hopes were high enough that I even purchased TWO of said product.

The verdict...

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!  This is where the brand name is much more superior than the generic knock off.  First off the brand name is a continuous bag that you "snip" as it fills up.  For whatever reason this system works.  The generic is just a bunch of bags that you drop in individually as you need them.  Ultimately, it's not as clean as the brand name. 

The big difference is the containment of smell. 

We bought this particular diaper pail on the recommendation of friends who have one.  They only use disposable diapers at night so the pail didn't fill up very fast.  They never had a problem with smell!  We found the same thing to be true of the diaper pail.  We were full-time disposable users for the first three months or so of Miss L's life when we switched to cloth.  We never had a problem with diaper pail smell even after we, too, became night only users of disposables (Well, and trips, too).  We threw in the dirty wipes, no problem.  Again, no smell issue... until we bought the generic bags.  I find myself emptying the container more often - so I don't think it will get near the number of diapers it claims it will hold.  I think it has something to do with the plastic quality and then how it is positioned in the container that effects the smell aspect.  I find myself tossing in baking soda to keep some of the smell at bay until we have a few more diapers in there that make it worth changing the bag.  Seriously, I have more issues with smell from this pail now than do with my cloth diaper pail... which really has no issue... odd, right? (Just another benefit of cloth... hee hee hee!)

So, there you have my review.  We will be going back to the brand name refill soon as I only have one more bag left to use.  I think I may have to track down my receipt and return the second refill.  That will teach me!  If I cannot return it I will find something else to do with the bags (maybe line my small trash cans with them?) because I will not be using them in Miss L's room anymore. 

I gave them the good ol' college try and they FAILED!

***Disclaimer:  While we use disposables at night cloth can and is used by many overnight.  We are not that brave yet plus we recognize we have a very heavy wetter.  We value our sleep and did not want to experiment with that after Miss L was already sleeping 12+ hours a night.  We may integrate that option with Miss A but we will see how it goes and what we need to add to our diaper stash.  Also, others use cloth wipes with their cloth diapers.  I am so not there and like not having to rinse those off as well as a diaper.  I have found a system that works for me. :)  Props to the mamas that can and do use the cloth wipes, too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swim Time!

For awhile now we have wanted to enroll Miss L in swim lessons.  But life happened and we procrastinated until last week.  A swim place opened up about five miles from our new home.  The bonus is that it is an indoor pool so we can go all year long and avoid the desert sun beating down on us.  There is only one other little girl in Miss L's class which is nice.  She is a bit younger than Miss L.  The difference in how they acted in the water was enough to confirm to me that Miss A will start classes when she is six months old.  Yeah, that will be entertaining.  HA!  But I think it will go very well.

This is not to say that Miss L did not do well.  I think given the fact that it was her first structured lesson it went very well.  She has always loved the water.  She loves bath time, playing with a water balloon that Daddy gives her (especially after it breaks), washing her hands, and really anything that involves water.  Her lesson only really kind of started to fall apart when she had to go under water.  She wanted to play, play, play.  She was TOO excited when she saw the pool.  I now know for future reference we need to work on lesson stuff before we play.  It's good lessons for us both.  I'll keep you posted on how Miss L progresses... because I know you all want to know.  Oh, and Miss L cried and waved at the pool when we left.  She did NOT want to leave the pool.  The owners thought it sweet... I thought it funny... and sweet.  

This is really just a funny reflection of me when I was little.  I wanted to swim ALL the time.  Really.  You can even ask my godmother who the lucky one to take me swimming.  She used to have to bribe me with not going swimming if I didn't put my seat belt on.  It worked 100% of the time, I tell you.  However, I was not always a huge fan of bath time.  I would try to convince my dad that because I had gone swimming that day.  Chlorine kills everything, right?  Now as a parent I realize more why we need bath time after swimming!  Plus, the water does something to my skin now that I just feel super hot if I don't take a good shower after swimming. 

Weird, right?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Time for Saying Good-Bye

I debated whether to write anything about some friends leaving for a new adventure in life.  I was doing fine then someone (ahem, Luma) made a small post on her blog about the same family.  Needless to say, I got all chocked up.  Sometimes putting things in writing is good closure for the soul.  This family has meant much to us over the years but even longer to my Husband.  They have walked through some of the darkest hours of our lives and through the most gloriously happy moments -- and everything in between.  While I know that we will see them on and off over the years we do have the hope of Heaven.  But it's still hard knowing that they are no longer just five minutes down the road, smiling faces no longer will greet us in church, or an acknowledging smile of special moments when Be Thou My Vision is sung during worship.  It has been a hard thing to accept them leaving but in the midst of it all we have seem the Lord's provision for them and excitement for this new chapter in life.  Hard?  Yes.  Happy?  Sometimes.  Blessed?  Yes!  We are thankful for the seemingly short time we had with them.  I have to remember those words often.

Anyway, to kind of lighten the mood... only slightly... I remembered this song from The Muppets take Manhattan.  The Muppets are like Hallmark, they have something for every occasion... well, almost.  And, well, I love the muppets.  Of course, when I saw this video I started to cry.  I think I just came to the realization that they are gone (even though we will see them in a few weeks...sheesh!) and it's no longer an impending date of departure.

This has been a good way to process my feelings a bit... those that I didn't realize were kind of bubbling under the surface.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When Your Baby Cries

We have been traveling quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.  We were in California with some friends for a weekend getaway, home for two days, and then we flew to Denver to celebrate Husband's grandmother's 90th birthday.  We just got home this last Tuesday.

Needless to say, it took a toll on us all on some level.

When Miss L has had enough she doesn't have the concept of self-control to just stick it out with a happy heart.  No, she will sometimes melt down, cry, and throw up her arms in frustration.  What she needs is some down time, cuddles with Mommy and Daddy, and ultimately a return to routine.

Well, I hate to admit it but I had a similar melt down during our trip.  I chose not to stick it out and have a happy heart.  Unfortunately, I did not exhibit a spirit of self-control and responded to a series of situations like my 18-month-old.  Sigh. 

It's not until I was able to reflect back on the trip that I really saw what maybe the Lord was trying to teach me. 

First, and foremost was my lack of self-control.  As if that isn't enough.  My feelings cannot control me but so often I let them.  I just needed to push through, accept help, and also communicate how I am feeling in a rational, non-emotion fueled manner.  Sometimes this is much easier said than done when one is six months pregnant and hormones are all over the place!

Second, the Lord was gently reminding me that I am not the same person that I was in college or the few years after graduating. (Thank you, Jesus!)  I could go, go, go, go, go... and then go some more.  I didn't spend a lot of time at home and the majority of the time I lived out of a suitcase.  No problem.

Well, life changes and so do we...

I am a creature of habit.  I love being at home.  I am growing more into the role that God has given to me.  I am a wife and a mom with different demands of my time than 5 or 6 years ago.  I cringe when people say, "I am just a wife and mom."  I think there is great value in being just a wife and mom (there are many things that fall under these very broad titles).  It's an identity that God created for me as a woman.  It is good godly work that God will see me through until the end.  It is a good work that He has started in me.

Like my daughter, I needed some extra time with my Heavenly Father (and cuddles with Husband), some down time, and a return to my routine.

My life is not boring by any means because it has routine.  It's good for me and for my household.  There is room for spontaneous things and we have fun.  Our household may not be the same as yours but that's okay.  We all reflect differect aspects of God's character and image.

There is more that I am thinking through and this isn't all that profound in the grand scheme of things but it's where I am at in life right now.  Husband is right, I need to give myself more grace in the things that I am growing in and learning about.  I will probably have more on other things that stem from this at a later time.

Until then...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Claim Jumper

I told you about a restaurant from our California adventure.  So, now I will tell you about one from our Colorado excursion.  However, this one I tell you about for a very different reason.  While the atmosphere is fun and the food is pretty yummy, you can visit this restaurant just about anywhere.  Actually, there is one less than three miles from our home.  For me there is some sentimental value in this place as some of our premarital counseling actually happened here. But I digress...

While in Colorado we found ourselves at this restaurant twice.  The first time because we just needed a place to eat when we got to town.  The second was because our extended family really wanted to go when plans to White Fence Farm fell through. (FYI:  I have never been to WFF)  This was the first time that we had been to CJ with Miss L.  We were promptly informed of a "baby plate" that was of no charge.  No charge?  As in free?  What?  It consists of a slice of turkey (I think it's a thin slice of what they have on hand for their turkey meal) two different kinds of cheese sticks, a lovely helping of their homemade applesauce and milk.  Because Miss L tends to have a slightly bigger appetite we just shared the rest with her from our meals because...well... the servings at CJ are substantial!  We ordered some veggies for Miss L one time but we found they were not quite tender enough for her and her lack of certain teeth.  But if someone else were to have them we can find some that were suited for her without the charge.

We had the same waitress both times we were there.  She was as great with our group of 20 as she was a few nights before with our group of five.  She was great with the kiddos, too!

Apparently, CJ is ranked one of the top 10 family restaurants by Parents magazine.  Not that I put a lot of stock in many things that come from Parents, but like anything, some good things can come from it, too.

Their other options for older kids meals were pretty good, too!  We will be filing this place as places to go when Miss A arrives and is ready to eat solid food, too.