Friday, April 24, 2009

Message From the Front Lines

RE: Nap Strike
From: Organizer and sole member of BRAT (babies rallying against tiredness): Claire Bringard

Day Five: It's getting grim out here. I don't know how much longer I can hold out. The opposition is relentless. I have had to alter my tactics several times. The hour and a half of playing in the crib instead of sleeping was getting me nowhere. Yesterday I was forced to institute constant screaming all evening. I threw in a nursing strike for good measure, but gained no ground. Today, in addition to the nursing strike, I made the decision to escalate my efforts to the morning as well as afternoon nap. It's beginning to have an effect. I can see it in her eyes. The sparkle has gone out and been replaced with a wild look. She hasn't showered in 48 hours. And yet, somehow she remains steadfast. Soon, I fear I will have to declare my intentions or abandon my cause. I have been so caught up in the struggle that I have forgotten why I established BRAT in the first place. Why, oh why is life so hard!

An Exposition on Cloth Diapers

As you may or may not know, we have been using cloth diapers on Claire since the beginning. We have never once regretted the decision! When we were first exploring all the options, I was so overwhelmed! I had no idea there were so many different choices out there. I had an image in my head of a white triangle cloth and some pins. While that method is still around, it is now one of a million! A lot of the sites I explored used all these different acronymous. I honestly had no idea what  I was reading most of the time. But, we persevered. There was so much information to weigh: cost, washing/care requirements, convenience, etc. 

The spectrum runs from $14.00ish for a dozen of Diaper Service Quality Chinese Prefold 
(the old fashion type people like to uses as burp rags, only more durable for lots of washes)
to $35.00+ for one of these swanky designer  type that function just like a disposable with velcro and a wide selection of colors/designs. And then there's the accessories. Some types (like the prefold) require a waterproof cover, the fancier ones do not. And the covers can be fancy at $20.00 each, or cheap at $4.00 for a three pack (old reliable gerber vinyl pants.) 

Really what you're paying for is fashion and convenience in the more expensive models. The cheaper the diaper system you choose, the more adjustment there is, and the less opportunity to bling it out. So, of course I really wanted the ones that had no learning curve and that I could bling out! What we ended up choosing was the old fashion  Chinese Prefold, with a gerber vinyl cover through a diaper service. So, absolutely no opportunity for bling, and  we had to learn how to fold and fasten them, but it only took a while to get the hang of it!

Why a diaper service, you ask? Well, because this meant that once a week some nice man came to my door, picked up the dirty diapers and replaced them with a bag of clean ones. No washing, rinsing, or soaking required. The service is $80.00/month. We calculated that it was about the same cost as buying disposable diapers, considering that you go through 12+ a day with a newborn. It would have been exponentially cheaper if we had purchased the diapers and done the laundering ourselves. We chose not to for several reasons: 1. We do not have direct access to our W/D. It's around back in the garage. 2. New baby, zero sleep, and laundry every day did not sound like a winning combination to me. 3. Newborn breastfed baby poop is messy messy messy. The amount of soaking, etc. would have been unreal while I was trying to adjust to life as a new mom.

Now that Claire has grown up, we're re-exploring our options. She goes through far fewer diapers now. Also, now that she's eating solid food, there is way less mess to contend with. Once you dump the "deposit" in the toilet, the diaper is not in too bad a shape. And I'm in a much better position to be doing one load of laundry a day. If we were to purchase the same diaper service quality prefolds that we "rent" now through the service, it would cost about $50.00 total (100.00 if we splurged!) to get an ample supply that will last her until she's potty trained. And they'd be usable for all our future children! What a relief that would be to the budget! $100 one time forever, as opposed to $80/month!

Now of course, because it's me, I'm trying to talk Kevin into an upgrade to one of the (cheapest of the) fancier types of diapers (this one!) for a few legitimate and a bunch of frivolous reasons. The legitimate reasons: 1. Nighttime. The prefold is just not absorbent enough to handle 10 hours of pee. She is soaking wet in the morning. I don't like the idea of her laying in that moisture all night. The fancy diapers wick away the moisture. 2. One size fits all. These diapers adjust to fit anywhere from 7-35 pound all with the same single diaper. The prefolds have  4-5 size categories. That means if we have two in diapers at once, they will have different sized diapers to sort. Frivolous reasons: They're prettier. And easier to maneuver (church nursery and babysitter friendly). And did I mention prettier? Plus, even if we get the fancy ones, it will still be less than the diaper service is currently. So, we're still saving money! (Just not nearly as much!)

I got as far as convincing him to buy one of the cool ones to try it out for a nighttime solution. It's so nice and soft! In the morning, her skin is dry now. I love it! Will I be able to justify spending more for them to use during the day? Probably not. But we'll see how far my "one-size-fits-all" argument fares :-)

Baby model pose in the new diggs.

The new executive baby can perform much better running, jumping, climbing trees in these trim, fashionable diapers. Get yours today!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Night and a Day in the Life of Claire Bringard

Kevin and I finally had a night out together without the little one! (I've been trying for months, but Kevin never wants to go out without her) We went to a benefit dinner for Mika Community Development and our wonderful friends Tim and Whitney volunteered to watch Claire. They said she did super, and didn't fuss at all. Here are a few pictures they took of the night:

"Where's my parents?"

"I'm sleepy"

"Who needs them, I'm having fun!"

Then, on Sunday it was so hot (in the 90s) that we decided to introduce Claire to the pool for the first time. She had a blast... except when she insisted on inhaling the water wherever I dunked her! But even then she didn't even cry, just looked startled. 

'I can do this on my own, go ahead and let go!" (yeah right!)

"If you need me, I'll be tanning." (through her 50 SPF!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009


He is Risen! (Well, on Sunday. Well, forever actually, so the greeting still pertains!) Here are some pictures of Claire in her Easter Dress from my mom.

I also made up a few fun Picasa albums to check out. One is a month by month:

And this one is just silly:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Isn't my Husband Handsome

And a little goofy! 

Family Fun Time

We went to Lemoore via Santa Barbara this past weekend for some fun family time. Here are some of the gems from the trip:

The whole zany crew of Bringards/Tewksburys

The result of Claire's first encounter with beets. She was fuchsia from head to toe. I had to hose her off in the sink, and it made the water pink!

Hey Brother

Claire getting kisses from her Uncle Kristian and Daddy

Crazy Grandpa up in a tree... 70 is the new 18!

Claire and Aunt Judy

So excited to play with Grandma!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Mall

On Monday it was so nice and sunny out that I decided to walk the mile to the Borders in the mall for some school supplies. And then, once we were there, of course I had to just shop around a little! haha! 

They had these fabulous sunglasses in H&M. I was very tempted to get them, but decided $7.00 for something she would never keep on was a waste. Sigh!

After our shopping I sat on a bench for a while and let Claire stand up and hold on to the backrest part (disinfecting wipes are amazing things, she can get her hands all over anything so long as I wipe it down first!) She would watch everyone walk by and smile and laugh at them all. Most people responded by stopping and talking to her, which, of course, was her plan all along. If for some reason someone didn't see her, she would get a little confused and frown. It was like she was thinking "Hello, I'm being cute here!" She is so social. In fact, if she has to spend the entire day at home with just me she gets so bored and grumpy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun with Water

I gave Claire a cup filled with ice water a few weeks ago. It was hilarious. Every time she sucked water up the straw she gasped, and then went right back in for more. So funny!