Archive for April, 2010

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While you, my few readers and friends/family, are probably aware that Abby wears cloth diapers, there are two facts that most people who know us are not aware of. I figured it was time to fess up.

1. We wash Abby’s diapers ourselves.

True, we started out with a diaper service, which was perfect during those first few sleepless weeks. But, as the weeks went along and Abby grew longer, the diaper sizes did not – go longer, that is. They went wider, and when she was about five months old, they started leaking out on an almost daily basis. Investigating our options with the diaper service led us to two choices: go up another size (which would have added width as well, something we already had a bit too much extra of in the size she was in), or switch to the much thicker “overnight” diapers as they were touted to be longer.

In the end, we went for the thicker diapers but soon discovered that the promised length was marginal at best. So we still had a leaky-diapered five-month old, whose butt was now too bit to fit into pants intended for twelve-month olds. Not the outcome we were hoping for.

So, I started doing some reading. I already knew that there were alot of options out there for diapers, so I was pretty sure we could find something that would work for Abby. I was more concerned with figuring out the other little details: What was it really like to wash your own diapers? How often did you have to wash them? How did you deal with … you know … the poop?

Thankfully, there are quite a few people willing to share their experiences on the first two. And there are alot of things out there to help out with the last. Like biodegradable diaper liners that you just have to flip into and flush down the toilet. A win-win situation!

So, with that figured out, we moved onto the next task: which of the many diapers available would work best? And that’s where confession #2 comes in …

2. I actually prefer prefolds.

This one came as a bit of a surprise even to me. With the multitude of cloth diapers available (and there is a multitude!) we ended up at the plain, and some would say “old fashioned”, rectangles. We do have a few of the others that look a bit snazzier, but since any cloth diaper uses a cover and therefore is only visible while being changed, we went by form alone and the “boring” prefolds ended up being the slimest (and most versatile) diaper I found.

It’s been a two-month adventure with cloth diapering to match our seven month adventure with babying.

There’s something about cameras that make babies (and pets) immediately gravitate towards them.

Sometimes, it seems as if Charles and I speak different languages. I mean, clearly we both speak English, but sometimes we seem to take different things from our conversations, even when we think we are being completely clear with each other.

A few years ago, I showed Charles a picture of a painting and asked him what he thought of it. He said it was nice. A few weeks after that, it showed up on our doorstep. For some reason, he was surprised to see it.

Lovers #3, Deron Cohen


You see, when I asked “What do you think of this painting?”, I was asking “How would you feel if this painting was hanging on a wall in our house?”. When he said “It is nice”, I heard “Go ahead and buy it”. In hindsight, it was clearly a mistranslation on my part.

About two years ago, I went to an art auction, which Charles could not attend. We had discussed getting a painting for above our couch, and he said “If you see something you like, buy it”, which is actually kind of a dangerous thing to say to me when talking about art. I like art. I like auctions. I used to regularly attend art auctions, just to look at the art (okay, and occasionally to buy, it’s true). At one of the previous art auctions, I had greatly coveted a $10,000 painting. I did not buy said painting (despite the encouragement of my friends) but I pined for it for a few days after we left.

Anyway, I went to this particular art auction with Charles’ words in mind. And I found a piece that I liked. Really liked. But that was kind of … expensive. Not $10,000 expensive (or even close) but not exactly pocket change.

(Side note: At one of the art auctions, not this one, but one by the same art house, the auctioneer was talking about how you should only buy art that you really like and not just art that you think is a good investment. Very good advice. Unfortunately, he followed that up about ten minutes later by wondering why no-one was bidding on some of the art since it was such a good investment. )

But, I did like this peice. And it would fit perfectly above our couch. A good investment, sure, but a goodly investment too.

So, when I brought it home (yes, I bought it), I hid it behind the couch until I could tell Charles about it. You may think this sounds sneaky, but really it’s just that I got home at midnight, so I clearly wasn’t going to wake him up to tell him. And I figured that a piece like that needed a personal reveal. I also figured that would give me time to think about how I would tell him. Unfortunately, the next morning Charles woke up before me and happened to see that the couch, which normally is tight against the wall, was out a few inches. What seemed to me (in the dark, at midnight) like a small shift was a bit more obvious in the light of day. At least he liked the piece too.

Haifa by Sea Israel, Itzchak Tarkay


But when he had said “If you see something you like, buy it”, he hadn’t specified a price limit. So the price tag was a bit more than he expected. In my defense, it is a large piece, and those don’t come cheap. In his defense, he had never been to an art auction and was perhaps not as aware of pricing as I was, given my fairly regular attendance. I’m going to go with an even split for the miscommunication on this one.

Sadly, the art house who hosted these auctions no longer does auctions in Canada so it’s been quite a while since I attended an art auction. Or any auction, really.

This week, when I found out that the first artist above was holding an online art auction and happened to be auctioning one of his pieces that I had been drawn to for a while, I put the lessons of the past to use and said to Charles “I would like to buy this, this is how much the bidding starts at, would you be okay if I bid on this?”

And his response was “Yup, have fun”.

No ambiguity, right?

I wish I could say that it was going to show up on our doorstep in a few weeks, but ultimately the three hour time difference and an almost seven-month old baby meant that I had to go to bed before the end of the auction and I lost the final bid for the painting. But I feel like a won something too, you know?

Art could be our personal Rosetta stone.

Little lambs, little lambs
Abby had two little lambs
Whose fleeces were as white as snow.

The pugs do tend to follow us around the house, so perhaps these Easter outfits are even more appropriate than I originally thought? To be honest, my original thought was “75% off! Sure, I’ll buy them for 75% off!” – I wasn’t thinking too far beyond that.

*And yes, one is yellow, not white. No pugs were peed on in the making of this post. I just thought the yellow one was cute too.

When I’m feeding her, she reaches her hand up to play with my hair, entwining her fingers in it, twirling it, weaving her fingers in and out, smiling up at me with a twinkle in her eyes.

When I’m lying on the floor next to her reading to her, she reaches out and grabs a handful and YANKS on it, giggling, not letting go. When I finally extradite my hair, more than a few strands remain locked in her grasp.

When traveling, I often enjoy the journey almost as much as the destination. If the journey involves a car, I just need the right soundtrack and snack food and I’m more than happy to go along for the ride. If it involves a ship, once we get past the safety orientation I’m all aboard and even a day or two at sea can be enjoyed by attending the talks, stepping into the casino, or sitting in a lounge chair by a window with a beverage, watching the waves go by. And if it involves a plane? Oh, if it involves a plane my enjoyment reaches a new level! I love flying. I don’t mind the lineups to check in or for security, or the waiting to pick up my bag at the end. My enjoyment is sometimes tempered by cramped leg room or someone who spends the entire flight with their chair fully back, but these succeed only in bringing my enjoyment down a notch or two and are not enough to completely overshadow my glee. My favourite part is the take-off: there’s just something awe-inspiring about getting a plane into the air. Hopefully, one day we will try traveling by train as I feel that too will have its own perks.

But, lately when knitting, I’m all about the destination. Sure, the planning part is very fun – caressing all the beautiful yarns, deciding on the right yarn and colour, finding just the right pattern for the yarn (or designing a pattern, if it’s one I’m doing myself) – but once I get past that I’m beginning to find that I run out of drive. Sometimes, even with all the groundwork done, I delay a project because I just don’t want to cast on. And the actual knitting? Sometimes … well, sometimes it feels a bit like a chore. Sure, there are things like lace, cables, and pattern work to keep me on my toes, but sometimes I can’t seem to enjoy those as much as I probably should. Instead, I’m wishing that I was done, rather than enjoying what I am doing. Payoff over process. Sometimes I get so close to the end, only to be bogged down by the finishing steps like seaming and weaving in yarn ends, that my progress slows to a crawl, further dampening my interest.

It never used to be like that though – I used to enjoy the process of knitting more than I seem to now. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy knitting an awful lot, I guess I’m just finding that the particular aspects of what I enjoy are changing. I’m not sure if it is just the sheer amount of knitting I do, or perhaps the amount of knitting I do for people other than me that has changed my perspective on it. Whatever the case, I want to enjoy the journey again, as well as the destination.

We only go on a few trips a year, and even when I was traveling for work it was only every few months, so traveling never really gets old for me, but I usually knit three to four dog sweaters a month from November through to March, and then I have had large projects on the go over each of the summers for the last few years.

So, since this is our year of Zen, I’m going to work on enjoying the process of knitting again. ‘Cuz, really, one should be Zen when wielding a pair of large, pointy sticks.